This presentation explores the birth of a new nation of people after the conquest of Mexico by Spanish. The “Mestizo” defined as a person of mixed blood has battled with a long crisis of defining oneself in today’ s society. Mestizos were often born of the violation of their indigenous mothers by the Spaniards and then abandoned by their fathers. This detrimental act produced an internal conflict within the Mestizo to deny one part or both parts of their ancestral heritage. Even the Mestizo, Don Martín Cortés, born out of an amorous act by Hernan Cortés and his indigenous translator, Doña Marina, was chastised by his Spanish counterparts. Thus, the Mestizo of today hides behind a mask in order to deflect one’ s beginnings. They allow society to define how they will be perceived throughout the world. While they remain inside continually struggling with the question of “Who am I?”
Therefore, I will delve into the notable perspectives of Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz to distinguish resolutions to this internal dilemma of this nation. As well I will provide a personal outlook based on my own experiences as a woman of mixed heritage.
Sarita Knoll, ’06 Rosemount, MN
Majors: Education, Spanish
Sponsor: Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour