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Interesting Facts about Luz Jiménez, an indigenous Mexican model and Nahuatl-language storyteller



Luz Jimenez 126th Birthday Google Doodle

Search engine giant Google celebrates the 126th birthday of Luz Jiménez, an indigenous Mexican model and Nahuatl-language storyteller and linguistic informant from Milpa Alta, D.F., with a Google Doodle on January 28, 2023. Here are some interesting and fun facts about Luz Jiménez.

Here is a look at the life and work of Luz Jiménez.

20 Interesting Facts about Luz Jiménez

  1. Luz Jiménez is depicted in numerous works by Mexican artists of the early 20th century.
  2. She is referred to as “la mujer más pintada de México,” which translates to “the most painted woman of Mexico.”
  3. Luz Jiménez was born Julia Jiménez González to a Nahua family in Milpa Alta on January 28, 1897.
  4. She witnessed the Mexican Revolution as a young woman and was there in 1911 when Emiliano Zapata’s revolutionary army entered Milpa Alta.
  5. One of the few testimonies of Emiliano Zapata speaking Nahuatl is her eyewitness account.
  6. The Carrancistas killed the majority of Luz’s male relatives when the Mexican Revolution reached her village in 1916.
  7. Luz Jiménez was 19 when she was forced to leave her hometown and move to Mexico City with her mother and sisters.
  8. Luz began working as a model for painters, students, photographers, and sculptors in Mexico City’s art scene.
  9. Luz Jiménez remained relatively unknown and lived in poverty despite the fact that her image began to appear on city monuments and murals.
  10. Luz was an educator to the painters and muralists; During modeling sessions, she taught the artists Nahuatl, her native language. In turn, the artists infused Luz’s indigenous authenticity into their own style.
  11. Luz Jiménez gave lectures on her culture and worked as a linguistic informant in the 1930s to document her language.
  12. She assisted linguists in documenting the Nahuatl language in the 1930s as a linguistic informant. She collaborated with Benjamin Lee Whorf, among others, and he mentions her in his description of Milpa Alta Nahuatl.
  13. Although Luz Jiménez left behind a number of writings, such as a children’s book and firsthand documentation of the Mexican Revolution, she only signed two of them, both in the Nahuatl newspaper Mexihkatl Itonalama.
  14. She also worked as a model for Diego Rivera, and her portrait appears in at least three of his murals, including the well-known scene from the Tlatelolco market.
  15. Luz Jiménez began working as a model at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmeralda” in 1942, where she took Frida Kahlo’s classes.
  16. She shared her life story with anthropologist Fernando Horcasitas in her later years, and he published it under the title “Life and Death in Milpa Alta.”
  17. After being struck by a car in Mexico City in 1965, Luz Jiménez died.
  18. The books she wrote, such as De Porfirio Díaz a Zapata: Memoria náhuatl de Milpa Alta (Life and Death in Milpa Alta: A Nahuatl Chronicle of Diaz and Zapata) and Los Cuentos en Náhuatl de Doña Luz Jiménez (The Tales in Nahuatl of Doña Luz Jiménez).
  19. Luz Jiménez’s image can still be seen on La Creación (Creation), Fuente de los Cántaros (Fountain of the Jugs), and Cortés y la Malinche (Cortez and Malinche) murals and sculptures in Mexico City.
  20. On January 28, 2023, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage for celebrating Luz Jiménez’s 126th Birthday.
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