La Llorona – Tale/Legend

Text: La Llorona – Tale/ Legend

Context: The informant, JR, is of Mexican descent and shares his relation with the cautionary tale of “La Llorona” and how they heard and interpreted the tale.

Interview: The first tale I can remember learning about is the folklore tale/ Legend of La Llorona. La Llorona is a Mexican folklore tale/ Legend that many parents tell their children about and can be compared to bigfoot spoken about here in the United States. Growing up in a Hispanic household me and my siblings were told stories about La Llorona and learned about the folklore. The tale goes something like a woman named Maria who lived in Mexico drowned her children after learning of her husband’s infidelity and soon after drowned herself because of the guilt of drowning her children. It’s said that in Mexico she roams around at night yelling “mis hijos” (my sons) searching for her children. This story is told to children to fearmonger them into not staying out late at night because if they do La Llorona would come to kidnap them. Due to the story being told over and over, there are now many different versions of it but to me, the story isn’t what matters but rather the intent behind telling it to your children. While I don’t remember too well why my parents decided to tell us the story I can only guess that it was to keep us from going out at night, which might have worked since it took me a long time to become accustomed to the nighttime outside. The way I see it it’s just another popular folklore that has stuck around for a long time due to many generations still speaking about that has become immortalized through film and other media.

Analysis: From the interview, I can tell that despite the informant, JR, claiming they have a blurry memory of cautionary tale/ legend, they ultimately were affected by the tale/legend growing up as it impacted their ability to stay outside during the night time due to the fear instilled from the story. As for the significance, other than being scared of being outside in the dark, I can tell that the story of La Llorona also ties in with cultural fears and supernatural beliefs from their cultural descent. Because the tale/legend is told to many children of Hispanic descent, the story has likely been passed down from generation to generation, supporting the idea that it is a reminder of the thin veil between the living and the dead and the idea of guilt, grief, and the pain of losing loved ones in Latin American cultures. The interview connects deeply with Hispanic culture and the ideas of obeying elders and keeping cultural tales/ legends alive by passing them down.