La Llorona, an Oral Tradition

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  • Topic: La Llorona, Ghosts
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  • Published : December 1, 2012
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The legend of La Llorona
Lechner, J. V. (2004). Allyn & Bacon anthology of traditional literature. Boston: Pearson A and B. Lyons, G. (1972). Tales the people tell in Mexico. New York: J. Messner.

The legend of La Llorona (The weeping woman) is a well known Hispanic tale in the Southwestern part of the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and also Puerto Rico. Many versions of the story exist allowing them to fit the community where the story is being told. The story is about a beautiful woman named Maria from a town near the present day city of Monterrey, NL. Mexico. She falls in love with a handsome revolutionary Sergeant that was passing by during the Independence War of Mexico from Spain that occurred in the 1800s. They marry each other and have three children, due to the traveling of the revolution her husband is always absent. One day he comes back with another women to visit his children and pays no attention to Maria the whole visit. In furry of the event she takes her children to a nearby river and drowns them; blaming her children for her husband leaving. She then comes to realization of the horrible mistake she has done and the water takes her kids out of her hands. She begins to yell "Ay, mis hijos!" meaning "Oh, my children!" and decides to kill herself. It's been told that her grief was so great that it was carried with her after death and since then she has been looking for her children in areas where water is near. It is said that every foggy night around eleven she will wonder the area and pick up kids who are walking or outside near water. The legend is used to scare children away from water areas at night and staying out to late. One of the characteristics that we find in the genre of legends and the story of La Llorona is that they are told and received as truths and are set in a historical point of view. Lechner says in her book that people tell legends because they often endure because they convey something important...
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