As a young woman she witnessed the Mexican Revolution, and was present when Emiliano Zapata and his revolutionary army entered Milpa Alta in 1911. Her eyewitness account is one of the only testimonies of Emiliano Zapata speaking Nahuatl. In 1916 most of her male relatives were killed in a massacre by the Carrancistas.
In the 1930s she served as a linguistic informant to linguists working to document the Nahuatl language. Among others she worked with Benjamin Lee Whorf who credits her in his description of Milpa Alta Nahuatl. She also worked as a model for artist Diego Rivera and her portrait can be seen in at least three of his murals, one of them the famous Tlatelolco market scene.
In 1942 she started work as a model at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado "La Esmeralda" (National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking) in Frida Kahlo's classes.
In her old age she told her life's story to anthropologist Fernando Horcasitas who published it with the title "Life and Death in Milpa Alta".
Works in which Jiménez appears
Jiménez as a model appears inter alia in the following works:
- Fuente de los Cántaros ("Fountain of the Jugs", by José María Fernández Urbina) in Parque México, Condesa, Mexico City
- Diego Rivera:
- Portrait by photographers Edward Weston and Tina Modotti (1940)
- Charlot, John. "Jean Charlot and Luz Jiménez". English original. Published in Spanish as: Charlot, John (2007). "Jean Charlot y Luz Jiménez". Parteaguas: Revista del Instituto Cultural de Aguascalientes 2 (8): pp. 83–100.
- Horcasitas, Fernando (Ed.) (1972). Life and Death in Milpa Alta: A Nahuatl chronicle of Díaz and Zapata. Narrated by Luz Jiménez. Norman: Oklahoma University Press. ISBN 0-8061-1001-5.
- Karttunen, Frances (1994). Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.
- Karttunen, Frances (1999). "The linguistic career of doña Luz Jiménez". Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 30: pp. 267–274.
- León-Portilla, Miguel (1978). Los manifiestos en náhuatl de Emiliano Zapata. (in Spanish). Cuernavaca, Mex.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas. OCLC 4977935.
- Luz Jiménez, símbolo de un pueblo milenario, 1897–1965. México, D.F.: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Inst. Nac. de Bellas Artes. 2000. ISBN 970-18-3776-2. OCLC 46321349.
- Itzcuintli blog with photos of Luz Jimenez
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