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La Malinche
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    (circa 1496-circa 1551)
    Born in Mexico
    Mistress and translator for Hernando Cortes
    Member of the Nahua tribe
    Also known as Dona Marina
    As Cortes's translator and confidante, she helped his brutal campaign in Mexico.
    Cortes wrote that after God, he owed his success to her.
    She warned Cortes when indigenous people were plotting against the Spanish army.
    Although she was Cortes's lover, she eventually married someone else.
    She remains a widely loathed figure in Mexico.
    She inspired the term 'malinchista,' which is a synonym for 'traitor.'
    A statue of her, Cortes, and their son inspired protests and was destroyed.
    Her father died when she was a girl.
    Her mother sold her into slavery.
    She was purchased as a slave by the Spaniards.
    Her son with Cortes is considered to be the first mestizo (person of Spanish-Indian descent).
    She knew several languages.
    She has historical defenders.

Credit: Truffle

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