“La toma tu teta”

The following is an interview between me and my friend, Edgar, while he was practicing piano over at the Caruso Catholic Center. He told me about a legend he knew from Nicaragua.

Edgar: “Okay, so it’s called ‘La toma tu teta’, and that’s literally– people in the country of Nicaragua believe that there is this woman walking around  who lost her child… in the river. a river nearby wherever the rumor started, right. So they believe in this woman whois just walking the streets and she is just yelling, ‘Toma tu teta! Toma tu teta!’ and crying and wailing and all that. And the reason why she is doing that is because if you translate ‘toma tu teta’ to English, it literally means, like, “Here is your breast.” So she is calling to the kid and saying ,like, right? ‘Come, I’m gonna feed you… so here is your breast’…breast, right? Like, here is, like, your boob (laughs). So, uh, I don’t know why people are scared of her. I don’t know if she’s actually like… ‘killed’ anyone, you know quote on quote, but, that’s like one of the myths that is in Nicaragua. There’s this one woman that walks around, like, saying this because she lost her child.”

Me: “Do you happen to remember, like, who or where you first heard this from?”

Edgar: “Um… in school.”

Me: “Like, elementary school?”

Edgar: “Yeah. Yeah, probably. It’s just that we have– we have, like, a whole, like, myths and legends that everyone from Nicaragua knows. And that– this would be one of them. And it’s actually pretty funny because, if you go to Nicaragua, and if you go to, like, the markets there, they sell these, like, mugs that are literally in the shape of a boob.”

Me: “Oh yeah! I’ve seen those.”

Edgar: “You’ve seen those, right? Yeah, so in Nicaragua they do it because of that… and also because we’re a little obscene… sometimes. (laughs) It’s bad, but they also refer to that myth.”

The thing about this I found the most interesting is the same thing Edgar was wondering about, of why exactly people are afraid of this legend. there is something very scary just about the idea of a woman losing her child, and what becomes of her psyche when that happens, but still, as Edgar said, it’s not like she’s known for killing anyone. So, perhaps it is just the disturbing tone of her backstory that scares people.