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"I grew up in Mexico my first seven or eight years," said Alcorta, who was born in the United States. "Everyone talks about La Llorona, La Llorona. And that's how parents a lot of the time it's kind of bad scare their children: 'If you don't behave, La Llorona is going to come and get you.' "

A sonnet written in the second half of the 19th century by the Mexican poet Manuel Carpio may be the earliest published reference to the wailing spirit, who is also mistakenly sometimes identified as the remorseful ghost of Dona Marina, or La Malinche, explorer Hernan Corts' mistress and interpreter, by whom she had a child.

In Mueller's opinion, the legend persists because its variations reflect everyday reality, with modern teenagers incorporating elements of the folk tale into ghost stories that use real neighborhood references.

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In some versions, La Llorona is not a murderer but simply negligent, while in others she is a blameless figure whose children die in a tragic accident.

But growing up for a time in Mexico, Alcorta, like many, soon became familiar with shivery tales of the spectral woman who haunts waterways and lonely places, searching for children in some variations she herself drowned.

But the ghastly figure has become in many ways much more than a way to scare young people straight, permeating oral legend, literature, song, film and popular media, Mueller wrote in her "La Llorona, The Weeping Woman: The Sixth Portent, the Third Legend."

concealment of an illegitimate birth, the choice to see her children die a swift death rather than to witness their prolonged suffering, and others, Mueller said.

"In all versions, the father of the dead children suffers no consequences while the woman gets punished for her sin of sexual gratification or female subversion," Mueller said.

Such was a circumstance that might require one's mother to "cure" you of being frightened by swept with a broom accompanied by the recitation of Catholic prayers to "scare the evil spirit away," he said.

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Though he has long left such fears behind, and doesn't believe in ghosts, even Alcorta recalls being scared by the story.

And as it turns out, people have been claiming that for a very long time.

In another version of the story, "La Llorona of the Moon," the phantom emerges on the first night of the full moon to gather evil souls.

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"I don't think she exists," Alcorta said. "But there are people who swear up and down that they saw her."

reported that Malinche had killed this child, Mueller said.

"La Llorona is the subversive phantom woman whose tale is largely transmitted through oral narrative by women," she said.

These days, Alcorta and many others who grew up hearing the stories respond with Mbt Shoes Price Uk a more bemused air.

The idea of a woman murdering her own children is something that inspires horror in many cultures, Mueller said.

La Malinche, who had learned to speak Spanish, warned Cortes of several plans to destroy the Spanish army.

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about the exact origin of the legend, the La Llorona tale inevitably involves a female phantom who can be heard, although seldom seen, weeping and wailing, often for children she herself has destroyed.

It is because of the drowning aspect of many stories that her doomed wanderings, accompanied by horrific wailings, are often set near bodies of water useful for parents to warn children away from lakes, rivers and streams.

Motivations for the murders vary from vengeance for the husband who deserted her, the Vans Golf Wang 2017

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In some stories, though the weeping woman is a temptress, luring men into following her with tragic consequences a version that provides a possible link to pre Columbian sources, namely the Aztec deity Cihuacoatl or "Snake Woman."

Hardin Simmons University Spanish teacher Teresia Taylor said in an e mail that she has known about La Llorona "as long as I remember."

Tales of weeping woman passed down in Hispanic culture

Scholar Roseanna Mueller, who teaches at Columbia College in Chicago, said at its basic level, the tale serves as an effective foil against willful children who might otherwise get into mischief. Versions of the story are common to Mexico and Central and South America.

The story has seen some revisions as time has gone on, with some benevolent and sympathetic versions of the weeping woman coming on the scene, while feminists have re examined the basis of the legend and come to interpret the tale as "populist propaganda intended to reinforce the patriarchy," according to Mueller's essay.

"In this instance, Dona Marina's association with La Llorona reinforces Malinche's role as betrayer to the Mexican people, thus raising larger issues of loyalty and ethnic identity," Mueller wrote.

Along with La Malinche, who represents the betrayer of her people, and the Virgin of Guadalupe, who is considered the Second Eve and redeeming mother, La Llorona forms part of "the Third Legend" of Mexico, Mueller said.

The legend is also associated with the conquest of Mexico, Mueller said, with both the "Codex Florentino" and Munoz Camargo's "Historia de Tlaxcala" include a wailing woman as the sixth omen or portent that predicted the fall of Tenochtitlan.

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"It was reported that on the eve before the fall of the Aztec capital, a woman was heard crying, sobbing and sighing throughout the night, asking what would become of her children," Mueller wrote in her examination of La Llorona as a cultural phenomenon.

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