La llorona

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The Crying Woman

The crying woman legend is not exclusive from Mexico. All over Latin America there are people that affirms having seen her or knowing someone who died upon seeingher.

Since the times of the Colony she was baptized as the crying woman.

This story was good help for the curfew imposed by the government at that time. People hesitated to go out of their homesmore because of the fear of meeting her than of the punishments applied by law to whoever violated the permitted hours for wandering through the streets.

In the ancient Aztec culture, Cihuacoatlwas the deity who protected their race. She was conceived as a motherly figure who screamed on the alleys grieving the future fall of their empire. She painfully announced the nefarious fate thatwaited for them, screaming: Ohhhhh……, my children!!!

Later, at the arrival of the Spaniards, the chroniclers record: “a long and black-haired woman, clad in white, appears in the southeastern part ofthe capital, and heads towards the east trough streets and parks, she stops before the crosses, churches and cemeteries and screams: Ohhhhh……, my children!!!. The scream is repeated throughout thenight until dawn. At the end, she stops in front of the cathedral where she laments once more, to then disappear in the lake of Texcoco”.

There’s a lot of speculation about the reason of hermourning. No one has been brave enough to ask her. According to the prehispanic legend, the crying woman represents mother earth suffering her children’s pain.

The colonial version conceives thischaracter as a woman who has been hurt, abandoned by her Spanish lover. In retaliation, she then murders her children, thus being condemned to look for them trough eternal darkness.

If in the middle ofthe night you hear an agonizing, chilling and horrifying scream, it might be Cihuacoatl’s voice, grieving her sinister fate. Or it may be the mestiza, who cries for her children, killed by her own...
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