La Llorona – Weeping Woman of the Southwest

La Llorona – Weeping Woman of the Southwest

La “Llorona” pronounced “LAH yoh ROH nah”. There is an urban legend of La Llorona- Weeping woman of the Southwest. Many communities still believes in her stories. In Spanish since the days of the conquistadores, Weeping Woman has been a part of Hispanic culture in the Southwest. As per urban tales she was a tall spirit with natural beauty and long flowing black hair, wearing a beautiful white gown. She roams the rivers and creeks. She searches for children in night to drag, screaming to a watery grave.

Origin of her tales are still unknown, no one really knows when the legend of La Llorona began. One thing was observed through the known tales is that she is the spirit of a doomed mother who drowned her children. And now spends eternity searching for them in rivers and lakes around the town.

Legends say La Llorona once was “Maria”, took birth in a peasant family in a small village. Her beauty took attention of both the rich and the poor men all around the village. In the evening when she wore the white gown, young men anxiously waited for her arrival and she received all the attention. La Llorona had two small sons who made it difficult for her to spend her evenings out. Sometimes she left them alone while roaming with the gentlemen during the evenings. One day those boys were found drowned in the river. Some say they were drowned by their mother.

Some says that La Llorona was a caring woman full of love; she was married to a wealthy man. They have two sons. But after sometime he no longer cared for the beautiful Maria. When he did return home, it was only to visit his children and the devastated Maria began to feel resentment toward the boys.

One evening, Maria was strolling with her two children near the river; her husband came by in a carriage with a beautiful lady beside him. He ignored Maria and his children, went without looking back. After seeing this Maria was angry with her husband and children too. She seized them and threw them into the river but when they disappeared in the stream, she realized what she had done and ran down the bank to save them, but she was too late. The beautiful La Llorona mourned for them day and night. During this time, she would not eat and walked along the river wearing her white gown. She was searching for her boys and hoping that they would come back to her life again. She roamed the riverbanks, cried endlessly. Her gown was soiled and torn. She refused to eat; then she grew thinner and appeared taller. Soon she was looking like a walking skeleton then died on the banks of the river.

Her restless spirit began to appear in town, walking around the banks of the Santa Fe River. Her weeping and wailing became a curse for the town. On many occasion people would see her walking along the riverbank and crying for her children. They no longer spoke of her as Maria, but rather, La Llorona, the weeping woman. Children are warned not to go out in the dark, for La Llorona might snatch them, throwing them to their deaths in the flowing waters.

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