Sophia Lopez is a Senior studying Screenwriting at USC. I was sitting with friends when she approached the table and began speaking to one of my friends that she knew. When I asked her if I could record folklore, she needed no definition–she launched straight into the story of La Llorona.
Sophia: My name’s Sophia. Andddd. Okay, so when I was little, I didn’t ever like to go to bed on time, like I was really kind of like a cool kid, and my Nanny would like, she would get really frustrated with me because I, um, wouldn’t ever be in bed on time, and, uh, my family’s Mexican, so they tell a lot of Mexican folklore, well they did when I was little. And so anyways there’s this woman called La Llorona, you know about her?
Owen: We learned about her in class.
Sophia: Yeah, okay, so basically, when I was little, and a bad kid, they told me a story about this woman La Llorona who her husband. Well, there are two versions. One her husband left her and she killed all her kids by drowning them in the river, and that was one version they said. But the other version is that there’s a terrible mudslide and all of her like eight children died and so at night…you know the La Llorona, like it translates to the Weeping Woman, so at night she wanders the streets looking for kids who are out past their bedtime because she wants to take them as their own and either like out of habit she’ll drown them in the river too, or she’ll take them with her to Hell. So that was my, once they told me that I really wanted to go to sleep on time. She can’t see kids who are already asleep.
When we spoke about La Llorona in our USC Forms of Folklore class, several versions were given from the class. Fittingly, Sophia had two versions handy. The most common trend I have noticed in this legend is that its purpose is to keep children inside the house at night or to get them to go to bed.