La Malinche (04:10)
Christian Duverger explains the status of the speaker in Aztec society. Cortés' use of a woman translator went against the machismo of Aztec society. The native name given, Malinche, is "owner of the valuable captive" in Nahuatl, and was used for her and Cortés.
Mother of Mestizo Mexico or Traitor? (02:06)
In native codices, Cortés and Malinche always appear together. Martín Cortés was their illegitimate son. Mexican muralists depict the complicated idea of La Malinche in the Conquest.
New Look at the Malinche (04:30)
The ethnicity of La Malinche isn't clear, but she was a slave of subjugated peoples, given to Cortés. She is sometimes considered a traitor; her dual reputation represents how one thinks of Mexico. La Malinche’s reputation suffered when she accompanied Cortés to Honduras where Cuauhtémoc was killed
Last Years of Cortés (02:29)
Cortés returned from the Honduras, sick and weakened. In 1542, the Spanish King sent Viceroys to govern, gold and silver for Spaniards, and tiny copper coins for natives- over Cortés' objections.
Cortés Returns to Spain (04:33)
Cortés receives honors from the Crown; he participates in the Tunis expedition and dies in Spain. During the 16th century, the mestization of race and culture of Mexico takes place, as Mesoamericans are converted to Christianity. Cortés' legitimate wife arrives in Mexico.
Syncretism of Religions (04:53)
A new form of Catholicism was born from the Conquest. Friars incorporated Spanish dances to replace native festivals and used stone images of the earth god for church column bases. Open chapels accommodated the natives.
New Look At Cortés (04:38)
In archival film, Diego Rivera explains his unflattering depiction of Cortés. Cortés was traitor to the governor of Cuba, but redeemed himself with Carlos V. He was an astute creator of mestizo Mexico with its own rights.
Cortés the Writer (01:39)
Hugh Thomas notes that Cortés was a good writer in his Cartas de relación to the Crown, written during the historic events. He mentions other Spanish literature of the 16th century.
Aztec Heritage Exalted (04:03)
The War of Independence and nationalism of the revolutions made a cult of the Aztec heritage over the Spanish, forgetting the liberation of peoples from Aztec subjugation. The flag has the Aztec symbol, not the Virgin.
Balanced History of Mexico (01:40)
The Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City includes the history of other Mesoamerican cultures, but gives central importance to the Mexicas and Aztec Empire. A more balanced history of Mexico is replacing aztequismo.
Moral Balance of the Conquest (05:29)
Today, historians reject the idealization of Mesoamerican cultures, especially the Aztecs. Cortés' native allies also lost their culture, lands and legal rights. The heritage of modern Mexicans includes the conquered and conqueror.
Credits: The Conquest of Mexico, A New Gaze: The Conquest-Part 4 (01:22)
Credits: The Conquest of Mexico, A New Gaze: The Conquest-Part 4
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