Denver Art Museum’s New Exhibit “La Malinche” Explores the Story of a Relatively Unknown and Controversial Girl – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4) – You probably don’t know her or her story, but without her, Colorado as we know it wouldn’t exist. The girl known as “La Malinche” is the star of the Denver Art Museum’s new exhibit.

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Although her first name is unknown, Victoria Lyall, Fredrick and Jan Mayer Curator of Ancient Americas, says there’s a lot you can call the girl who translated for the Spanish conquistadors when they colonized Mexico.

“We call her Marina, Malintzin, Malinalli and Malinche,” Lyall said.

Lyall says his life story is complicated and difficult to describe, as well as his contribution to America’s history.

“Sold as a slave. Companion performer. Survivor,” is how Lyall said artist Annie Lopez portrays La Malinche.

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During his lifetime, his voice fell silent. No autobiographical account of Malinche exists, and most of the accounts that do exist were written by Spanish men, which Lyall says has distorted how we remember her today.

“There’s a lot of misogyny and racism that has impacted how her story has been passed down from generation to generation,” Lyall said. “This is the first time we’ve really tried to consider the historical origins of so many of these different perceptions and identities that have become synonymous with her.”

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Throughout history, she has been a traitor, a heroine, a native girl, and even a sex symbol, but those descriptions are the descriptions that men have given her.

This new exhibit doesn’t just examine them, but tries to imagine how she would have described herself.

To help some visitors understand what it is to be a woman in a male-dominated world and recognize the difficulties women face living in two different worlds.

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“Malinche is your mom. It’s your sister. She’s your aunt. It’s you, said Lyall.

“La Malinche” opened in February and runs through the first week of May.

Mildred D. Field