Archive for August 19th, 2010

I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Malinche, or Marina, the Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast who was sold as a slave to Cortez, became his translator, his mistress, mother to his child, one of the first mestizos and therefore the symbolic mother of Mexico. I’m obsessed with her story because nobody in literature seems to be as exalted and at the same time maligned. She’s considered a forerunner of her new country on one hand and a traitor to her people on the other, a motherly whore. Even her nickname “Chingada” means literally “a woman who is fucked.”

Cortez & Malinche

Her legend is such that she’s been referenced everywhere from Laura Esquivel and Octavio Paz novels to Neil Young songs and even Star Trek.

I myself have been so intrigued by her tale and this legendary beauty of hers, one so great it supposedly undid a culture and bewitched statesmen and warriors, that I’ve named at least two different characters after her in my fiction. I also wrote a song about her when I was 22, which I’m sharing with you now in an updated version.

“La Chingada,” by ER Salo Deguierre is either further exaltation or further insult, depending on how much you think the song sucks. The good news is that, if Malinche were here, she would no longer have to listen to the song on MySpace. That’s right, I’ve upgraded my Word Press account and embedded the song on the blog. Just press to play.

La Chingada

I hope to post (and repost) more music here in the next few days.

La Chingada
By Eric Rasmussen

Copyright, 1992, 2010

Marina they trade you for horses

And swift galleasses that slice through the seas

Marina, they trade you for flowers and meat

And took you away from me

When you came back you had learned a new language

Were decked out in colors, a mistress to kings

But do you remember at all

When we sat all alone

and knew none of those things?

Marina, caught up in intrigue

You helped the invader to bring down a king

Sat by while his own people stoned him to death

For the shame that he brings

Marina now some fish swims inside of you

What kind of child will you be mother to?

Will he hate your impossible beauty and body

As much now as I do?


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