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Hidden in history

Published: 2016.03.17 - 06:42:07   /  web@renciclopedia.icrt.cu  /  Redacción Digital Enciclopedia
  

Hidden in history

Women are complex, fascinating and irresistible creatures. Although for centuries they were oppressed by machismo, many of them took a step forward and forged a new path.

The first great novel in world literature was not Cervantes' Don Quixote, but Genji Monogatari, which was written in Japan by Murasaki Shikibu six centuries before the great deeds of the brave nobleman. Its author belonged to the gentry and through a life filled with sadness at the loss of her loved ones, created this work, which reflects machismo and falsehood with which the aristocracy treated women.

In the eleventh century, Lady Godiva, seeing that her husband, the Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry, increased taxes and tributes to his vassals, asked him to administer his lands properly. Her spouse gave her a condition to consider her proposal, the beautiful woman should ride naked through the town. Far from giving in, Godiva prepared her horse and started the ride, trying to hide some of her body under her long hair.

Frightened that someone would see his wife performing such an act, the Count ordered everyone to enter their homes under the threat to kill anyone who looked outside. The stories of a farmer who gazed at this intrepid woman through a window cannot be verified, but one thing is certain, the promise was fulfilled.

During the colonization of Mexico in the early sixteenth century, Hernán Cortés managed to suppress the natives, partly thanks to the help of various translators of traditional Mexican languages. What is almost never mentioned is that the interpreter of this conquistador was a woman.

Remembered as the Malinche, she was the daughter of a feudal chief of the Aztec empire, so her mother tongue was Náhuatl, but when her mother remarried and had a son, she was sold as a slave so she could not access family inheritance. Her owner was a cacique of Tabasco, so she also learned the language of the Maya.

In 1519, conquistador Cortés after the Battle of Centla received as an offering 20 young slaves. One of them was Malinche, who was baptized with the name Marina. Soon she learned Spanish and became the assistant of the colonizer, showing the customs and military strategies of Mexican empires, besides promoting meetings with the leaders of the region.

By contributing their part to the world, they changed history, because being women, they convert the simplest action into something sublime.


By Daniela Hernández, a journalism student

Translated by Luis E. Amador Dominguez

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