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 work inspired by a Mexican legend that I use to talk about the place of women in today's Mexican society. In this work I resort to black humor, so that with a touch of drama, subtle references to pornography, and nods to archaeology, I can elaborate an account from the origins of the legend, its evolution and adaptation to the present day.
The series is a game of references that can be read in an infinite way, of how a legend can become a cup, a craft, an icon or a religious figure, such as the Virgin of Guadalupe or La Santa Muerte.
The series is a playful exercise, but one that plays between criticizing the values and concepts imposed by Catholicism and the idea of being a good woman. Themes such as purity, morality, motherhood, desire, the female body, destiny and a Mexican female ghost popularly known as "la llorona" are present in this work.
"La llorona" is a feminine identity that appears in the History of Tlaxcala by Diego Muñoz Camargo and in the General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún.
The count says that the weeping woman is the sixth in a series of eight omens and superstitions that marked the end of the Mexica empire with the appearance of the Spanish conquistadors. The book tells of the nocturnal appearance of a woman who cried saying "Oh, my children! Who can save you from such a disastrous fate?"
With the passage of time and already in the colonial era, history tells a story of love and revenge. An indigenous woman who falls in love with and gives birth to the children of a Spanish nobleman. The Spaniard, who would have a wealthy position, never acknowledges that relationship or his descent and instead marries a Spanish woman who supports his status. This act unleashes the fury of the indigenous woman, being unrecognized and deceived, she murders her children by drowning them in a river and later she commits suicide. The punishment for having committed that sin is to wander until the end of time, looking for the children of her that she murdered. Currently, throughout the Mexican territory there are still many testimonies from people who say they have heard her cry and with her constant migration to the United States, there are testimonies of her appearance in California and in border areas with Mexico.
You can find references of “La llorona” in some pre-colombian sculptural pieces, exhibited in the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, under the name of Cihuatetéotl or Cihuacóatl.