The short life of the woman known as Malinche ended centuries ago, but its complex history continues to fascinate and inspire all kinds of interpretations.
A slave in her childhood, she was given as a teenager to Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador. She served as his guide and interpreter as he sought, successfully, to overthrow the Aztecs and claim Mexico for Spain. This role has long led some to see her as a traitor to her people. In recent years, its story has been recast as one of survival and resistance, inspiring a number of artists.