Colonial & Postcolonial
Literary Dialogues

Cortez Converses with the Aztec Emperor, Moctezuma II, in Tenochtitlan.
from: Lienzo de Tlaxcala, Mexico, Aztec, 1500/1600. Cotton.


This drawing made by Aztec artists in the same century as the conquest portrays one of the world's most famous colonial dialogues. The peaceful interchange depicted here preceeded Spanish treachery, violence, and all-out war. The woman portrayed behind Cortez is the Indian noblewoman Malintzin (Malinche) who served as both Cortez's consort and translater. The contradictions of her role are a central issue in postcolonial studies.

Sites of Interest: La Malinche: Chingada or Madre

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Colonial & Postcolonial Literary Dialogues

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Last Updated: April 26, 2001