Mudcat Café message #1360890 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #12887   Message #1360890
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
18-Dec-04 - 10:32 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: La Llorona
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: La Llorona
The story of Cortes and Malinche has been used by the New Mexican writer, Rudolfo Anaya, for his opera, "La Llorona." Cortes uses Malinche as a translator in his war against the Aztecs, and she bears a son with him. He decides to advance his career by marrying a Spanish princess. Malinche in despair murders her son before he can be murdered by the princess. Malinche becomes the Crying woman, La Llorona.

The story of the weeping one is in the late Aztec literature, but they may have got it from the conquering Spaniards. Some historians say the story originated in Spain and was carried to the New World, others that it is a New World story. The Aztec version is complicated, but simplified versions of an Aztec princess who kills her child are widespread in Mexico.

La Llorona has become associated with evil and witchcraft in some tales. Near Albuquerque, children who play along the Rio Grande at night are called by La Llorona and taken away by her. She also is supposed to have lured and drowned unwary men who come down to the river to drink and carrouse.

In Arizona and New Mexico, one story is about a beautiful young woman who falls in love with a wealthy young ranchero. He wins her, they are married, and have two children. After a few years, he goes back to a life on the prairie, forsaking his wife. He comes to visit the children, but rejects her. She meets him when he is accompanied by a lady. He speaks with the children but ignores her.
In a rage, she throws the two children into the river. Realizing what she has done, she runs after them, but they disappear downstream.
Next morning, she is found dead on the bank of the river, and the villagers bury her there.
Now on dark nights, the people hear the sound of crying. It is La Llorona crying for her children. A woman is seen, dressed in white, walking the river bank. Children are warned to stay away from the river at night, for La Llorona might take them to replace her lost children.