Sana Sana Colita de Rana

Context: The folklore gathered is a saying that is popular throughout Latin America, usually when young child gets hurt, in order to help them feel better.

Explanation of Folklore: I interviewed A about a saying that I have heard a lot in the Latino community. This saying is “Sana sane colita de Rana, is no sane hoy, saner mañana”. Originally in Spanish, this saying literally translates to “healthy healthy frog tail if it doesn’t heal today it will heal tomorrow”. The context for when this is said is typically for injured young children. When they get hurt, someone, usually a mother or a guardian will repeat this saying, while helping them with their injuries.

A told me that this is a very popular saying in El Salvador, her home country, but that it is also extremely common throughout Latin America as a whole. It is a saying that is almost universal in the Latino experience, and even has made its way alongside the Latin American diaspora.

Analysis: A mentioned that this saying has been in her vocabulary for as long as she can remember. When A was younger, they were told this by their parents as a way of calming them from crying. The witty rhyme is silly in its literal meaning, and has no connection to healing whatsoever. As a result, the intention was to make the child laugh and forget their pain. A personally thinks it is a colonial era saying, based on the fact that it is not exclusive to a certain part of Latin America. It is widespread across the Latin American countries as a common saying.

Personal Analysis: This is a form of oral folklore that is reflected in the form of a saying. Based on my interview with A, and my own personal experience, this form of Folk speech seems to be pretty familiar. The only variation of the saying that I found to be used is switching “colita” with “culito” a more vulgar adaptation of the saying. I definitely think that this is a colonial era saying, the traces its roots to a colonial Latin America. Given that the saying is in Spanish, it is very safe to assume that it was not until the Spanish reached Latin America that the saying gained popularity. This is a clear example of the Transmission of folklore, and how it is passed on from generation to generation. A fascinating part of this folklore is that its is tremendously widespread. because it is popular throughout an entire continent, it could be difficult to pinpoint the exact origin point. There do not seem to be very strong regional differences that would indicate any sort of regional variety. The common consensus is that it is a pretty standard saying.

When analyzing the meaning of the saying itself , it is difficult to find any sort of logical meaning. The frog tail might be an ode to the pre hispanic wildlife that may have been observed during the colonial species. Upon doing some research, I came across a species of frogs that are able to grow back their limbs when they are cut off, so perhaps there is a correlation between that observation of nature and the saying. In the end, the saying is told to children to make them feel better, and distract them from any pain they might be going through. It is a way to boost morale, and inspire a calmness for the child. Growing up, I was told this saying numerous times, and it really did do its job in distracting me. I would laugh at the use of “culito” a vulgar slang for one’s behind. It is interesting to see how saying that are so close to one’s life can be so widespread, and is a shared experience on a continental level.