Column: Que Viva Española
Submitted by Steven Lovato
Que Viva Española is an online community that promotes and explores the culture, history, and traditions around the Española Valley area. Que Viva publishes a weekly columns here in the Valley Daily Post. The objective is uniting as a community to celebrate what makes the valley beautiful and unique while changing the culture of crime and drugs.
(#1) La Llorona
In New Mexican Folklore, La Llorona is the most popularized legend that has been carried on for generations.. Although many different variations have come into existence, many believe the legends origin was along the Rio Grande here in Northern New Mexico. This legend has become an integral part of the Hispanic culture not only in New Mexico but throughout the Southwest.
During the Spanish Colonial Era in New Mexico there was a beautiful woman named Maria. Who lived in a small yet humble village that sat next to the Rio Grande. One day as she was walking through the village she came across a handsome caballero in wealthy fitted clothing riding his horse. With his guitar on hand he would make his way to Maria and in a beautiful voice sing a cancion. Their eyes would meet and instantly fall in love. After some time of courting the couple would decide to get married and eventually having two children of their own.
One evening Maria and her children went on a walk through a shady path next to the river. Along the path she would come across her husband riding his horse with an elegant woman . He would stop and talk to his children while ignoring Maria. After refusing to acknowledge her, he would whip his horse, riding down the path with this elegant woman. In a jealous rage Maria would grab her children and push them into the river. As they disappeared down the river Maria would come to realize what she had done and would run up and down the bank reaching out her arms, calling out for them. But they were gone.
After stumbling over some rocks, Maria would fall to the ground hitting her head, lying there to die. The next morning a traveler would discover her body and bring word of her death to the village. The people would come to the river and pay their respects and bury her where she had fallen. It is said that Marias spirit haunts the river, continuously seeking her children. People are warned not to walk the banks of the river at night. For Maria could mistake them for her children and take them as her own.