Me: “Within your Mexican culture, did you grow up hearing any scary stories or legends?”
NO: “oh my gosh yes, I have one that actually still affects me today. So there’s this guy that is claimed to be a short middle-aged man who wears black boots and this big, almost like a sombrero-looking hat. Supposedly he roams around the streets playing the guitar and sings captivating melodies that will make women and young children walk towards him and if they do, they will be casted under a spell of love, almost like a curse, as he plays music for them”.
Me: “Is there a way to get rid of the curse?”
NO: “Well supposedly my family says that once you are cursed El Sombrerón will haunt you in your sleep and the only way to get rid of it is to cut your hair. It’s pretty random but growing up as a kid and even now I would always think about it if I ever hear random guitar strumming or street performers playing guitar in public”.
Translation: “The Man with the Big Hat”
Context (informant’s relationship to the piece, where they heard it, how they interpret it):
-NO’s relationship to this piece stems from her Mexican culture within her childhood and early adult life considering this legend is claimed to be from Mexican decent. Not to mention, her relationship to this pieces stems from her real experiences as they still affect her today whenever she comes across street performers. NO would hear this legend at home by her family and older relatives. Considering NO grew up in a very musical household, NO thinks the reason why this legend was told so often was because it was a story that related to music and their favorite instrument. NO interprets this legend as a scaring tactic that her family would place to avoid children walking up to strangers. Not to mention, NO interprets this legend as an overall motive to avoid temptation.
Analysis(what kind of personal, cultural, or historical values might be expressed) YOUR interpretation:
-The overall cultural value within this legend stems from Mexican culture given the very distinctive quality of culture and overall lifestyle value that is represented within the Mexican sombrero that the man wears when playing the guitar. This gives an overall emphasis that this legend’s origin comes from Mexican culture and Mexican communities. Not to mention, the personal values that can be expressed within this legend is that it influences individuals to be aware of their surroundings considering that it can affect their day to day life regarding their personal value of consciousness whenever they hear the strumming of a guitar. I can see this legend as a strange learning tactic that is placed by the parents of children in order to keep them safe from people they don’t know. Considering that this legend revolves around the idea of temptation in regards to the captivating music, I can interpret this legend as a motive to not fall for someone who seems to be captivating from the outside, no matter how inviting they might appear. In general, this legend draws similarity to the legend of La Llorona because they use the similar tactic of emitting noise in order for their victim to approach them. Given the concept of hearing a physical sound within this legend of El Sombrerón, the idea of a legend quest can be made from those individuals who really want to find out if the legend and curse is real or not.