WWW: Stella Inda plays ‘Doña Marina’ in 1947’s Captain from Castile [Film Clip]

dona marinaWe begin the month of March (which will have a thematic focus on Latin American women) by looking at a film clip from the 1947 motion picture Captain from Castile.  This film clip is centered on a pivotal moment both in the film’s narrative, as well as Mexican national narratives, in which the conquistador Hernan Cortes and his soldiers go to meet Cacamatzin, an Aztec chieftain and king of the city-state of Texcoco.  What is important for us is the presence of Doña Marina, also known in legend and history as ‘La Malinche’.  As Lorraine aptly pointed out earlier this week in her discussion of Sáenz’ book A Perfect Season for Dreaming, the telling of oral histories, regardless of whether they are based on ‘reality’ or ‘imagined reality’, are nonetheless important and central to the construction of family and community identities.  With this in mind, we will look at this video clip and discuss the historical information that accompanies it on the Critical Commons feature of Captain from Castile, with a specific, critical focus on how Doña Marina is represented.

There have been so many differing accounts of how Doña Marina came to be known as “La Malinche” that her actual biography can sometimes seem nothing more than fodder for myth.  Many sources agree that she was born at the end of the 1400s into a family of local nobility near the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco, which was at that time a sort of borderland between the imperial Aztec empire and the Mayans.  Because of her geographic position and relative nobility, she was fluent in Nahual and Mayan as well as being situated near the Gulf coastal region where Cortes’ ships arrived. Named Malinali at birth, which was the Aztec Goddess of Grass and the ‘daysign’ on the Nahual calendar for her birthday, the names Malinche and Doña Marina probably did not come into use until after the arrival of Europeans and her becoming a translator and close advisor to Cortes.

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Local Event!! Día de los Muertos: Papel Picado

The UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) and the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) are pleased to announce our next free professional development workshop.

2014-10-07_Dia-de-los-Muertos_Papel-PicadoJoin us for our fourth workshop of the series.  We will begin with a private tour of the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s stunning exhibit of papel picado artwork; then meet with artists Chris and Mary C. Baca, who will explore the history of papel picado and demonstrate multiple, hands-on techniques for creating it in the classroom; as we conclude, participants will have the opportunity to create their own papel picado to take home. Continue reading

Local Event!! Día de los Muertos: Altars and Shrines

For all of our local New Mexico Readers:

The UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) and the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) are pleased to announce this free professional development workshop.

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Local Events with Marjorie Agosín

We are very excited to announce a number of events taking place this week with Marjorie Agosín!

Agosín is an award-winning self-described “poet, human rights activist, literary critic…interested in Jewish literature and literature of human rights in the Americas; women writers of Latin America; migration, identity, and ethnicity.” Those of you who attended our workshops on the history of Chilean arpilleras are already familiar with some of Agosin’s work.  The collection of arpilleras displayed at the NHCC exhibit belongs to Agosin, and we featured some of her poetry in our curriculum guide “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras.”

Below we’ve included information on her three different speaking engagements taking place this week. I’m really excited for Saturday’s reading from her new young adult book I Lived on Butterfly Hill. It looks absolutely beautiful.  Continue reading

WWW: Día de los Muertos at the National Hispanic Cultural Center

Teacher Workshop at the NHCC

Teacher Workshop at the NHCC

The phenomenon of Día de los Muertos can be traced through Mesoamerica, where death initiated a journey of the soul through the nine levels of Chicunamictlán (The Land of the Dead). Origins can also be traced through Europe, where the popes of four centuries grappled with paganism, eventually establishing All Saints Day and All Souls Days on November 1st and 2nd.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has launched a Día de los Muertos website, exploring these fascinating origins, including the origins of specific elements like ofrendas and calaveras. The Día de los Muertos website also features lesson plans for ofrendas (all grade levels), calaveras (elementary), papel picado (all grade levels), and sugar skulls (all grade levels). Continue reading

En la Clase: Stitching Resistance through Chilean Arpilleras

Arpillera coverAs you may know from yesterday’s post, we’re continuing our series of thematic workshops around the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s exhibit “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras.”  Our series began last spring, and was so popular that we decided to add a third workshop this fall, as the exhibit will be up through January, 2014.

For today’s En la Clase post, I thought I’d share some of the information and curriculum materials that we wrote about last year.  Many of our new readers may not be aware of the many resources available to teach about the art and history of the Chilean Arpilleras.  The timing is appropriate, just last week September 11th marked the anniversary of the 1973 Chilean Military Coup in which Salvador Allende was overthrown and Augusto Pinochet came to power.  The arpilleras were part of the protest movement against Pinochet.  Continue reading

Local Event!! Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras

For all of our local New Mexico Teachers:

We are very excited to announce another upcoming LAII’s k-12 Teacher workshop for the arpillerafall semester “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras.”  The workshop will be held on Thursday, October 3, 2013 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.  This workshop is the third in a series that started last spring.   While the content is related, each workshop provides different information, so don’t worry, you don’t have to have attended the last two in order to register for this one.  Continue reading

Local Events!! Día de los Muertos

????????????????????????????????????????Fall is always a busy time and this year is no different!!  There are some great Día de los Muertos events coming up that provide excellent opportunities for teachers.

Join the National Hispanic Cultural Center and the UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute(LAII) as we explore the history of Día de los Muertos in two different workshops designed specifically for educators. Continue reading

En la Clase: “Comparing Herstories: The Arpilleristas of Chile and African American Women Quilters in the U.S.” (part 2 of 2)

Monday’s post was the first in this two part series on teaching about the history of Chilean Arpilleras as women’s protest art in Pinochet’s Chile.  In collaboration with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, we held a series of workshops this spring around the exhibition, “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras,” which is on view at the NHCC from October 19, 2012 through January, 2014.  If you missed Monday’s discussion, definitely check it out, as it will provide some necessary historical content on the topic.  Today’s post looks at some possible ways to integrate a unit on Chilean arpilleras into your curriculum, through hands-on activities. You’ll find supplementary guides and a lesson plan for creating your own arpillera at the end of the post, so be sure to scroll down.

Arpillera coverI know when I was teaching in the classroom, it wouldn’t have necessarily been easy to justify a unit on the history of Chilean arpilleras.  Continue reading

En la Clase: “Stitching Truth: Chilean Arpilleras in the Classroom” (part 1 of 2)

As Ailesha shared in her ¡Mira, Look! post this past week, our last thematic series of posts for this school year focuses on human rights.  Much of our work through with k-12 arpillerateachers is based on thematic workshops that connect Latin American content with human rights issues.   In collaboration with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, we held a series of workshops this spring around the exhibition, “Stitching Resistance: The History of Chilean Arpilleras,” which is on view at the NHCC from October 19, 2012 through January, 2014. Continue reading