LA LLORONA (the wailing woman)
“La Llorona is one of the most recognizable Mexican folklore stories. It was told to us from the time we were young. La Llorona was initially a woman that was very happily married to her husband. Once they had kids the husband would no longer pay attention to her, and eventually left her for a younger woman. This enraged her and led her to kill her kids in that same blind rage. Once she realized what had happened it was too late. Her kids had been drowned and killed. Story tells that she now searches the streets, especially near rivers for her kids. Sometimes mistaking other people’s kids for her own, so she takes them. She’s called “La Llorona” because her infamous call is “mis hijoooos” which translates to “my children!” She is always crying and searching for her children, and she is a pretty sad, yet scary character.”
“This was more of a campfire story or something you would tell in a sleepover. It’s a pretty famous story so you’d be challenged to tell it to someone of Mexican descent who doesn’t already know it. Versions switch up on the reason he left her but the constant part is that she killed her children and now searches endlessly for them.”
Origin: This is primarily a Mexican legend, but is so well known that people from other Latin American countries and origins know it as well.
Analysis: This is an urban legend, and a very well known one at that. It demonstrates one of the most taboo concepts in society, of a mother killing her children. The fact that it is the mother who kills them is all the more tragic, because she is the one who is supposed to take care of them and traditionally has a stronger bond with them, rather than the father. Family and blood is central to any society, but perhaps especially in Mexico, which is rather tradition-oriented. This legend presents as a monster one of the most feared things in Mexican culture, judging by its popularity: infanticide and the breaking of family ties.