La Llorona

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Mexican-American
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/28/13
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish, Japanese

Primary informant: “La Llorona, I think is just really a part of every, like, Latin American household, I guess. Um, and specifically, I didn’t hear it from my dad because he doesn’t really believe in that shit, but from, like, my aunts and my grandma, whatever. And, um, it’s basically, this lady who… it’s like, okay, myth, legend, I’m not sure which one, but it’s like this lady who had kids, um, I don’t know what happened to the husband, if it was out of wedlock, or he died or whatever– the guy’s not there and, um, she ends up having a lover and the lover doesn’t want kids or whatever, so she takes her kids and she drowns them, in the river, and he ends up not getting with her anyway. So she just- um, like, got, I don’t know, got really sad or whatever and just, like, walks around. They say- people say that they see her walking around, like, rivers or, like, places with children and she’s always, like, they can, like, hear her, like, crying or something and just being really sad and all of that.”

Secondary informant: “La Llorona, she’s forever cursed to stay on Earth and she—for eternity, to find the remains of her children. And that’s why she’s constantly near rivers, because she’s trying to find the remains of her children and she can’t ascend into the afterlife until she does. So that’s why she’s stuck here, that’s why she’s hanging around here and shit.”

Tertiary Informant: “The one that I’m more familiar with, her husband was cheating on her. And so to get revenge on him, she drowns her children.”

Primary Informant: “The variations of that…”

Tertiary Informant: “But in whatever… ends up, he never ends up with her…”

Primary informant: “And she eventually ends up drowning her kids.”

Secondary Informant: “She’s forever alone.”

Laughs

Primary Informant: “Yeah, forever alone.”

 

Both informants who shared information about La Llorona are of Mexican descent and heard this story from their families. This story was shared in the primary informant’s apartment. We spent the afternoon sharing stories and combining the information we all had about each legend. These stories are important to the informants because they have been passed on from the older generations in their families. Because they value their older relatives, they value and enjoy the stories they’ve been told.