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Unformatted text preview: rummage-guru emwwmm 1” fimnmummm Renews Junk-r a lawn ant-m max/snmvuwwius Camilla Townsend, Matthew Odom-An he." We" hm Cat-gm gran-m (Albuquerque. NM: University of New Meeioo Press. 1006). pp sv+ :81. hoopla; {WM-Pb“ Malintain is one or‘ the moot complex and ambiguous figures in Madam history. Whether as the mother of the mestim nation or the archetypal trainer to her people, ah: has been a mmlmd powerfulpresenoe in history, myth and fiction. Given to Hemmdo Comes in 11:9 15 a slave, the youngNahua woman become invaluable to him as a tmtslanor, borehlm a son, and served as an invaluable medimrbemen the Spanish and indigenous worlds. The Spaniards respectfully called her clofia Marimand shehubeoome lmwnuohiahory asLa Malinohe,butotherindigenorm called her Malintxin. In Mafia? Cm, Camilla Townsend traces the ioocsneps of this umdimxy woman and plans her within the mph-x web of power relations Mum charac- terised aixtzmth-omuuy Mei-co Reigning the potent smmoty'pca wlfids have dominated the hisbory of Malinnin’s Life, Townsend reframee her as I real woman. fixing the and realities which confronted ' ' us women before, during, and. alter e conquest of Mexico. Unfortunately any biographer, this faednaongftgmetnsleftwfiewwordsofherommdherfit‘eisobscmedbya targleafmyfl! artdophiombut'fmertd skilfullymsthechaflengesofher projectinto one ot'its gnaw values; sheis refreshingly {rank about which portions other story rely on aspen-1am ordeduction, and slxeachtowlettahermefltodo- logical difficulties operdy. ClearlyI addxeuing the areas of ambiguity. Townsend ' noronlymengxosaingmryandaodxoladymfiy,hmalsoanac- omlplished model for tackling the challenges of early colonial history. The bound- aries and possibilities of sauces are mum] no Malimzln’s hlsbory, but Townsend welt: it! WMlxslIlp lignly, and the mtfllodnlog'ul analysis is new pmmfltld ID encumber the story. From Mallet-aids mooeded birth to the lives of her mildren in Spams}: and Mexican society. this is constantly fasdmt'tng and beautifully told. The real suergth of this book Lies in Townsend's sensitive lemma-union of the shifting worlds of sixteemh-nentury Mexico. The narrative is carefully {ranted against Nahum Spanish and Maya backgrounds, and dterealitiea or’ lie in this period are clearly revealed. Although Malintzl'n was remarkable, ought in a web ofevenre which allorded her a pivotal role in history, her atpetience also reflected that of many ind'genous wnlert Front daildhood, youth and slavery. to marriage. motherhood and early death, Townsend tunes the lives of indigenous women threats}: Malinztin's ettperiertee,sitedding light on the choices and imperatives which drove Nahua and Maya Lives. Her portrayal of female life in this changing world is aytllpafltztic, highly Md and insightful, showing their pml agency and resistance to the impositiom of both conquistadou and local wan'iors, even while she reveals their fleao'billty and creativity in the wake ot‘conquese It is a plum to read a work about the conquest by a writer so howlegeable about Nehua and ...
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