Verónica Bapé

Copyright Verónica Bapé 2021

Las lloronas, 2020
24 x 18. 3 cm each one.
India ink and soft pastel on 90g kraft paper.

Las Lloronas is a graphic series where I use humor, subtle references to pornography, drama, Pre-Columbian Mexican history and archaeological drawing to represent in a folkloric way the experience and historical conception of women in Mexican society, generated from the time of colonialism and that has lasted until today.
The series is a game of references that can be developed in an infinite rhythm, which can start from a monument to a mug, which we can find as handicrafts or going through the Virgin of Guadalupe to the figure of Santa Muerte.

The serie is a playful exercise between the critique of the values and concepts imposed by Catholicism to the idea of being a good women. Topics like purity, morality, motherhood, desire, female body, destiny and a mexican female ghost popularly known as “la llorona”are present in this work.

“La llorona” finds its begginnings in some Pre-Columbian codex and appears also in narrations made by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún in his work entitled General history of the things of New Spain. (1569)
Currently, throughout the Mexican territory there are still many references and narrations of people who say they have seen and heard her crying out "Oh, my children!"

The story of “la llorona” has two origins, one pre-colombian and another that arose during the conquest in Mexico and is the most popular. The first story is the sixth in a series of eight omens and superstitions that, as referenced in The General History of New Things, marked the end of the Mexica empire with the appearance of the Spanish conquerors. The book tells about the nocturnal appearance of a woman who cried saying "Oh my children! Who can save them from such a disastrous fate?"

The second story seems to be a mixture of the Aztec reality with the new Catholic religion, making that event a lesson for the good behavior of women. The story tells of a story of love and revenge. An indigenous woman who falls in love with a Spanish nobleman, giving birth to his children. The Spaniard in his wealthy position never acknowledges that relationship and instead marries a Spanish woman who supports his status. The result is the fury of the unrecognized and deceived indigenous woman who kills her children by drowning them in a river and subsequently commits suicide. For having committed those sins, her spirit will never rest and she will walk forever looking for the children she murdered.
We can find references of “la llorona” as pre-colombian sculptural pieces, exhibited in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, under the name of Cihuatetéotl or Cihuacóatl.

Cihuateteotl. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.

Cihuateteotl. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City.