La India María
|María Nicolasa Cruz|
La India María as depicted
in Tonta tonta pero no tanto (1972)
|First appearance||"Tonta tonta pero no tanto" (1972)|
|Last appearance||"La hija de Moctezuma" (2014)|
|Portrayed by||María Elena Velasco (1972-2015)|
|Nickname(s)||La India María|
|Occupation||Housemaid, farmer, public vendor, artisan, politician|
don Macario (foster father)
doña "Chona" (foster mother)
"La India María" (born María Nicolasa Cruz) is a fictional character portrayed and created by actress María Elena Velasco. The character frequently endures situations of racial discrimination, classism, and corruption, although in all of these turmoils, María undoubtedly resolves them with hilarious acts of good-nature and morality. She has represented the poor indigenous, the migrant worker, and even free-spirited nuns for over 30 years. She has been the lead character in 16 films and in a spin-off television series entitled, Ay María Qué Puntería. Most recently, the character has appeared in cameo appearances in the television programs Mujer, casos de la vida real and La familia P. Luche.
Fictional character background
Although La India María's origin is never revealed in her films, it is most probable that she is of Mazahua ethnic background, due to her colorful, folkloric clothing. In her first film, she mentions that her hometown is "San José de los Burros". Nevertheless, this shouldn't be taken as canon, as this fact constantly varies. For example, her hometown is changed to "Chipitongo el Alto", for which she serves a term as municipal president in La presidenta municipal (1975). In El que no corre... vuela! (1981), she mentions her hometown as "San Pablo Cuatro Venados". Other given hometowns are Nopalillo (Little Prickly Pear Cactus), San Bartolo Tezmelucan, among others.
Commute to Mexico City
Since La India María's rural hometown does not have many job opportunities, her cousin Eufemia invites her to work for a sophisticated aristocratic woman who is the countess of Valley of Mexico, in Mexico City. Her name is Doña Julia Escandón de León, Condesa del Valle. But María is robbed right when she gets off her train. With nowhere to go, María sells oranges with other women at a public park (which is illegal). A group of police officers arrest them, but fortunately María Nicolasa finds refuge in Doña Julia's limousine.
Migration to the United States
María was hired several times to work in the United States. First in OK, Mister Pancho, where she crosses the border to Houston, Texas at the request of an American refugee with whom she quickly falls in love and names "Mr. Pancho". Second in Ni de aquí ni de allá, she travels to Los Angeles, California and is contracted to work as a housemaid for two American tourists, Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. However, she is distracted and goes into a bathroom at the airport in L. A., and witnesses a murder. The murderer pursues her all over the city until she finds work in a Mexican restaurant.
- In Mujer, casos de la vida real, an episode entitled Amor incondicional, she portrays a discriminated maid and nanny.
- In La familia P. Luche, she appears in an episode as the housemaid of "Exelsa".
- Starring in two for Maxwell House Coffee
- And lead roles in other brands such as: Maggi, Fab, and Nescafé
- El rebozo de la india María, Retrieved January 5, 2011.