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« Back to articles from category "Culture"

The following article was published in our article directory on June 14, 2012.
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The Tragedy of La Llorona

Article Category: Culture

Author Name: Ignacio Ceja

The Weeping Woman of Mexico

I first read about La Llorona, The Weeping Woman, in a book on Mexican folklore, way back when I was in high school. In the book, the author claimed that all Mexicans knew about La Llorona. ALL of them knew who she was, and they each had a story about a sighting.

This story is about family, about loss, and about grief.

The background of La Llorona

There was a strikingly beautiful peasant woman who worked her family's farm, which was owned by a very handsome Spaniard. She would see him as he would leave in the evenings, on his way to galas and fiestas in the city.

She was successful, and found him at the estate of one of his many friends, attending a great party. Her Spaniard fell in love with her immediately, and went to her. She spent the evening dancing with him, but at the end of the night when he dropped her off at her farm, he cautioned her that no one could know about their love.

The Tragedy of La Llorona

During this time, her Spaniard became restless and planned to return to his homeland. He sent for his brother to come and watch over his land and then finished up his business in preparation to leave. In desperation, the young woman sought to keep him there with her, but all her efforts were in vain.

The night he left, she fell into a terrible mix of anger and depression. One day, she saw the brother of her lost love ride past and was so struck by how much he looked like her Spaniard that she called out to him by his brother's name. He then rode off and left her dumb struck in the field.

The emptiness inside her was suddenly replaced by an overwhelming rage. In an act of revenge, she drowned her children in the river that ran behind her farm, and let the waters sweep away their bodies.

Screaming and crying, she was found on the river bank.

The Legend of the Weeping Woman

She found herself at the gates of heaven where she was welcomed for her suffering, but she was denied entrance. Instead, she was ordered to return to Earth and find the souls of her children.

Saddened as she turned away from Heaven, she returned to the earth, and to the pain she had left there, which grew greater and more woeful as she drew nearer, until she cried out in anguish under its great toll. And it's in that state in which she roams the earth, wailing, searching the crossroads and dragging the rivers with the net of her long black hair, looking for her baby boys, maybe until the end of time.

Parents tell this story to their children to make them behave. They tell them that if they don't listen, if they run off, if they stay out late at night, that La Llorona will find them and take them away.

Is La Llorona merely a tragic ghost story? Her story has been so compelling that she has appeared in stories, in poems, movies and in TV commercials. She is even so popular, that the first episode of the hit TV series "Supernatural" was inspired by her.

The lost piece of La Llorona's Story

The woman who the La Llorona legend was based on was an Indian, who fell in love with a Spaniard by whom she had children, but by whom she was eventually abandoned. La Raza, the Mexican race was born of the mix of the local Indians and the Spanish. Many Mexicans see themselves as the orphans of La Llorona. As long as the orphans of La Llorona walk the earth, so will she.

About the Author: Ignacio Ceja writes about personal development and cultural folklore from a variety of viewpoints. You can visit his website here.

Keywords: La Llorona, Mexico, Mexicans, Weeping Woman

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