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The Legend of La Llorana

The Legend of La Llorana

‘Oh my sons!’ ‘Oh my sons!’ wails La Llorana, as she frantically searches for her sons.

The legend of La Llorana, the weeping woman, dates back to 15th-century Mexico, which back in the day was part of the Aztec Empire. In a rural village of Mexico lived a beautiful young woman named Maria. Maria hailed from a poor family but was well known around the village for her beauty. She lived an ordinary life until this one time, when a wealthy nobleman who was making his way across the village stopped dead in his tracks as soon as he placed eyes on Maria. He proposed to her,  and she accepted.

The two got married. Maria gave birth to two boys. The family lived happily for a while. Her husband had to travel for work.  As time passed, Maria’s husband visited them less frequently and the visits he did pay were solely for his sons, his love and affection for Maria faded away with Maria’s beauty as she aged. Maria put up with this behavior until the day her husband came home with a new young wife. Maria had had enough. Angry and hurt, she took her sons to a river and drowned them in a blind rage. Upon realization of what she had done, she searched for them everywhere but the river had carried the boys away. A few days later, Maria was found dead on the river bank. She had committed the two ultimate sins; Murder and Suicide. As the legend goes, Maria was challenged at the gates of heaven, asked about her children. Stuck between the land of the living and the dead, she is heard weeping for her children hence earning her the name La Llorana or “The Weeping Woman”.

Since she was denied entry in heaven, Maria now wanders searching for her children sometimes mistaking other children for her own and kidnapping them. It is said that she begs for forgiveness and drowns the children she kidnaps.

Her screams and wails are symbolic for misfortune. People who claim to have seen her have had encounters near lakes or rivers. She appears in a white gown and veil, searching for her sons to repent for the sin she committed. The legend is used by Mexican parents to prevent children from staying out late at night.

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