Mexican folklore: La Leyenda de la Llorona.

Now that Hollywood has decided to release a trailer for a movie based on the Legend of the Weeping woman better known in Hispanic culture as La Llorona, made me realize that not a lot of “foreign” people know about it and that probably Hollywood might ruin it for everyone. At least what I saw on the first trailer is not making me wait fretfully for it to be released.

In addition to that, I asked my American husband if he had ever heard about it and as I suspected, he said “No”, so I tried to tell him a little bit more about of what I know of the legend and that’s what pushed me to write this post.

In Mexico I grew up with  2 versions of the legend, one of them told by my Grandma on my mom’s side and the other one told by everyone else as part of our folklore.

It’s also worth mentioning that this legend has several versions that change the story a little bit accordingly to the region where is told and that no one really knows the real origin of it.

colonial-newspain

Some people say that the legend was born during the time of the Viceroyalty of New Spain in Mexico (from 1521 to 1810) and that version tells the story of a woman (an indigenous woman or native of Mexico) who fell in love with a Spaniard with whom she had a hidden relationship with. From that relationship, 3 kids were born and when the woman asked the Spaniard to marry her, he said no because he was marrying another woman, someone from his own class and wealth.

After hearing that, the woman went crazy and on that night, she killed her children. Once she had realized what she did, she committed suicide by drowning herself in the river.

Since then, it’s told that her spirit wanders around on the streets and that you can hear her in the middle of the night crying out painfully “Aaaaaayyy my children!!!”.

la llorona 2

There’s also an older version recorded by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in the General History of the Things of New Spain (also known as the Florentine Codex ) where it says that la Llorona is the Aztec Goddess Chihuacóatl, whom since before the arrival of the Spaniards, bemoaned the imminent Conquest. Her cries warned the Mexica about the tragedy looming ahead of them.¹

1 omen

As I said before, there are different variants of this legend, including the ones told in Central America, but I think that the main essence of the legend has a lot more of depth and tradition that what it could be told as part of a Hollywood movie.

In conclusion, with this post, I do not intend to criticize the movie because it hasn’t even been released but I just want to share a little bit of what I know about it so you could make your own conclusions if you ever decide to watch the movie.

1. This paragraph was taken from  Horror Stories: The Legend of La Llorona.

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