Always thought this was very interesting!!! LA LLORONA
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
La Llorona is Spanish for "the weeping woman," and is a popular legend in Spanish-speaking cultures in the Americas, with many versions. The basic version is that La Llorona was a beautiful woman who killed her children to be with the man that she loved and was subsequently rejected by him. He might have been the children's father, and left their mother for another woman, or he might have been a man she loved, but who was uninterested in a relationship with a woman with children, and whom she thought she could win if the children were out of the way. She drowned the children then killed herself, and is doomed to wander, searching for her children, always weeping. In some cases, according to the tale, she will kidnap wandering children.
 Function of the story in society
Typically, the legend serves as a cautionary tale on several levels. Parents will warn their children that bad behavior will cause her to steal them and being outside after dark will result in a visit from the spirit. The tale also warns teenage girls not to be enticed by status, wealth, material goods, or by men making declarations of love or any promises too good to be true. It also cautions them not to express their sexual desires. Some also believe that those who hear the screams of La Llorona are marked for death, similar to the Gaelic banshee or ban sidhe legend. Additionally, the tale is a Mexican and Central American cultural symbol that models negative and despised femininity, where La Llorona is the archetypal evil woman condemned to eternally suffer and weep for violating her role as a wife and a mother. She is a failed woman because she has failed at motherhood. The tale serves to shape Mexican and Chicana women's conduct by prescribing an idealized version of motherhood. La llorona is also known as La Andalona.
 Comparisons to other folktales
La llorona also bears a resemblance to the ancient Greek tale of the demonic demigodess Lamia who had an affair with Zeus. Hera, Zeus' wife, learned of the affair. Hera then forced Zeus to give up the relationship and punished Lamia by forcing her to eat own her children. Out of jealousy over the loss of her own children, Lamia preys upon human children and devours them if she catches them.
Local Aztec folklore possibly influenced the legend; the goddess Cihuacoatl or Coatlicue was said to have appeared shortly prior to the invasion of Mexico by Hernán Cortés, weeping for her lost children, an omen of the fall of the Aztec empire.
La Llorona is also sometimes identified with La Malinche, the Native American woman who served as Cortés' interpreter and who some say betrayed Mexico to the Spanish conquistadors. In one folk story of La Malinche, she becomes Cortés' mistress and bore him a child, only to be abandoned so that he could marry a Spanish lady (though no evidence exists that La Malinche killed her children). Aztec pride drove La Malinche to acts of vengeance. In this context, the tale compares the Spanish invasion of Mexico and the demise of indigenous culture after the conquest with La Llorona's loss.
 Comparisons to modern figures
Recently, convicted murderer Susan Smith, who drowned her two young sons after being rejected by a male suitor, was compared to La Llorona in a cartoon that appeared in Time magazine. In the essay "The Woman Who Loved Water," in the Spring 2004 issue of Creative Nonfiction, Kathleen Alcalá compared murderer Andrea Yates to the La Llorona story and tradition.