Semester of Graduation

Spring 2019


Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



This thesis studies the evolution, ideology and use of the myth of La Llorona through time in the Hispanic World. Considering this myth as one of the most known traditional narratives of the American continent, I begin by providing visual, ethnohistorical and ethnographical insights of weeping in Mesoamerica and South America and the specific mention of a weeping woman in some Spanish chronicles to say how western values were stablished in “the new continent” through this legend. I suggest that during the postcolonialism the legend did not tell anymore about a mother that cries and search a place for their sons but tells about a mother that kill their children and cries in sorrow searching for them, making the legend serve as a disciplinary mechanism at the expense of the feminine figure and her function in the society. Recently, it is through the perpetuation of the popular Mexican song of La Lloronaand the contemporary writers, Chicanos overall, that the interpretation of La Lloronais strongly questioned, to favor a more holistic view of the myth, and it is used to resist to the imposition of the male domination values so diffused in the Hispanic world. I argue that the Hispanic community has to follow the efforts of Gloria Anzaldúa, Renee Domino Perez, Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Triunfo Arciniegas, Marcela Serrano and Carmen Toscano to question the traditional views of the legend, not to subvert it as the point the legend is not anymore recognizable but to the point in which any person that feel that belongs to the Hispanic world could see, not the prove of a culture that threats itself but the prove of a culture that has preserved their profoundest values of empathy to build and reunite community in such holistic, human and empowered myth.

Committee Chair

Fernandez-Palacios, Christian