La Llorona

La Llorona is a well-known Mexican folktale.  There are numerous variations.  And one involves La Malinche.  It blurs the line between fact and fiction, but it’s a creepy little tale nonetheless.

According to this particular version of the legend, La Malinche gives birth to two sons by Hernán Cortés.  The king and queen of Spain fear that Cortés’s ruthless ambition has no limits and that he intends to build his own empire in New Spain.  They send a lovely Spanish lady to seduce him and convince him to abandon his plans and return to his homeland.  The Spanish lady does as she is bidden and seduces Cortés.  He falls in love, asks her to marry him, and she accepts — on the condition they return to Spain.  What option does he have?  He agrees.  He tells Malinche that he is leaving New Spain and that he is taking their sons with him.

By this time, Malinche sees what her actions have wrought.  She feels remorse over the role she played in the fall of Tenochtitlán.  One night, while she sleeps, one of the gods of the Mexica visits her in a dream.  He warns her not to let Cortés take their children.  If he is allowed to take them, one of them will return one day and continue the destruction that his father began.

The night that Cortés will come to take their sons, Malinche slips away with them.  Cortés sends his soldiers to find her and take the children.  They find her along the shoreline of Lake Texcoco.  In a panic, she kills her children with an obsidian dagger.  Crazy with grief, she wails, “¡Mis hijos!”

Cortés returns to Spain.  La Malinche spends the rest of her life grieving for her lost children.  After her death, her ghost is seen kneeling at the edge of Lake Texcoco, sobbing.  She becomes known as La Llorona, the weeping woman.

Feliz dia de los muertos (y de los santos)!

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