La Llorona

La Llorona

It is the story of a young Indian girl led astray by her love of a foreigner. It happened during colonial times. She was helping her mother to wash the clothes of her nine brothers and was carrying water to her house. Her mother was a wise woman that constantly reminded her daughter that the blood of the slaves must never mix with the oppressors, that is, white men. However, the girl fell in love with a Spaniard that she met at the river when getting water for her family.

She became pregnant just as the Spaniard was returning back to Spain. She fell asleep because of her disappointment and when she woke up there was a baby by her side. She remembered her mother’s words that the blood of oppressors and slaves  must not mix and she threw the baby into the river.

Suddenly, she hears the cries of Mother! Mother! and realizes it is her baby. She tried to recover her baby but the flow of the river was strong and she was unsuccessful. She became crazy with grief, eventually dying and her spirit continues to this day to mourn her baby’s death. You can still hear the mournful cries of the llorona (the crier).

Another Version

The people of León Nicaragua tell of this figure of the night that brings terror to the campesinos (peasants) communities with its ceaseless sobbing near the river. The story goes that a woman once had a 13-year old daughter who fell in love with one of the white conquistadores (Spaniard conqueror) back during the times of the original colonization of Nicaragua. They say that the mother told her daughter that she should not mix her blood with that of the “executioners”. Heedless of her mother’s warnings, the young Indian would go to the river to bathe. She found her white-skinned lover there on many occasions and became pregnant. But he had orders to go back to his motherland.

The girl wept desperately so that he would take her with him. The crying and begging became so severe that one day she had an attack and fainted. On awakening the following day, her lover was gone but she found a baby boy by her side. She took him in her arms and with anger she remembered what her mother had always told her: “The blood of the executioner must never be mixed with that of the slaves.” The rage built up to the point that she threw the infant into the river. Right away she realized what she had done, and cried out “Oh mother!” and jumped into the river to save him. But it was too late.

The young mother would walk weeping in the streets, driving people crazy with her wails, and so the people call her “La Llorona”. According to legend, her spirit comes out at night near the river, and one can hear her laments and weeping: “Ay madre..!” (“Oh mother…!”) Others claim she cries out, “Ay, mi hijo…!” (Oh my baby…!”) One thing true though is that many of our grandparents still tell us this story and on hearing a sobbing around midnight, our hair stands on end and our limbs are paralyzed with fear.

Legend translated by Francisco Jarquin

Another Version

La Llorona, a banshee

La Llorona is a popular dark  figure that is part of the dream stories that frighten the villagers. Her cries appear amid the nightly chorus that comprise the voices of the animals of the night and the monotonous rhythm of water from rivers and streams-Liseth Martinez

There are many stories about this legend, which vary from region to region, and as all are based on a true story, to tell from generation to generation, these people add and remove many details and add exaggerations. In this myth she is dressed in white, comes out at midnight, desperately cries for his son and everyone calls her “La Llorona” .

La Llorona is a legend which is known in many countries, for example, Mexico has many stories about this. In Nicaragua there are different versions. Villagers in León say that Llorona was a woman who was a banshee because she had thrown her son in a river. Moreover, it is said that crying is the expression of deep pain of a mother who lost her son drowned in a pool, while washing clothes in a river.

In another version from Moyogalpa, according to Doña Jesusita, a villager, La Llorona was a young girl helping her mother wash the clothes of her nine younger siblings and carry water for the house. The mother never tired of repeating that your child should never mix the blood of slaves with the blood of the executioners, i.e. with whites.

Every evening the young Indian went to wash clothes in the river and, one day a white man stopped to drink water, but saw the girl. Although whites never speak to the Indians than to send them to work. She fell in love and since then sneaking from her mother to the same place until she became pregnant.

Before giving birth, she took a boat to the island of Ometepe before the Spaniard returned to his land, she bitterly asked her beloved to take her, but he refused and left her abandoned, feeling rejected the mother fainted and woke up with her son in her arms and instead of loving that child, grabbed him and threw him into the river, hearing the baby say “Oh mother, oh mother!”

The girl, hearing the voice of his son, repented and went into the water to save the boy, but it was impossible, the boy disappeared and only could hear his cries, from then on and grieving, became mad. So she went screaming, so they named her La Llorona.

The mother died and her soul was in pain but still, so many hear her screams at night. The myth of La Llorona is the unanimous condemnation of the woman who, against the advice of her mother, made her child pay with his life the deception by the conquistador.

Conventional wisdom created the myth of La Llorona as a rule of behavior of Indian women against the invader. In this legend the Indian woman is a victim of the contempt, the mockery of a man who is not of the same race, which presents the behavioral model of men and women of different socioeconomic levels.