When we talk about Mexican legends, we are talking about the traditions and anecdotes of an ancient people. We cannot forget that, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, culture had already existed in the area olmec and later the maya and the one represented by the Aztecs.
The result of the synthesis of all these civilizations is the history of Mexico and, of course, also its legends. In this way, some of those that we are going to tell you have their roots in pre-Columbian cultures, while others appeared later, when pre-Hispanic traditions merged with arrivals from the Old Continent. If you want to know more about the Mexican legends, we invite you to continue reading this article.
Table of Contents
- 1 Mexican legends, from the Olmecs to the present day
Mexican legends, from the Olmecs to the present day
The legendary tradition of Mexico is very rich and varied. It includes stories that have to do with the stars, with the birth of large cities, with their typical costumes (here you have an article about them) and even with the beliefs and rites of the country's inhabitants. But, without further ado, we are going to tell you some of these stories.
The legend of Popo and Itza
At Mexico City you can see two of the highest volcanoes in the country: the Popocatepetl and Itzaccíhuatl, which we will call, for simplicity, the Popo and the Itza. Both are protagonists of this story, one of the many Mexican legends of Aztec origin.
When this town came to the area, it created the great Tenochtitlan, on which Mexico City sits today. In her the princess was born Mixtli, who was the daughter of Tozic, emperor of the Aztecs. Upon reaching the age of marriage, she was claimed, among many others, by Axooxco, a cruel man.
Yet she loved the warrior Popoca. He, to be worthy of it, had to become a conqueror and attain the title of Eagle Knight. He went into combat and was absent for a long time. But one night, Mixtli dreamed that her lover had died in the fight and took his own life.
When Popoca returned years later, he found that his beloved had died. To pay homage to her, he buried her in a huge tomb on which he placed ten hills and promised to remain with her forever. Over time, snow covered both the Mixtli burial mound and Popoca's body, giving rise to the Itza and the Popo.
The legend continues that the warrior is still in love with the princess and, when his heart trembles, the volcano expel fumaroles.
La Llorona, a very popular Mexican legend
We change the era, but not the area to tell you the legend of La Llorona. It tells that, in colonial times, a young indigenous woman had an affair with a Spanish gentleman from whom three children were born.
Although she intended to marry her lover, he preferred to do so with a Spanish lady and the native girl lost her mind. Therefore, he walked to the Lake Texcoco, where she drowned her three children and then threw herself. Since then, there are many who claim to have seen in the surroundings of the lagoon a woman dressed in white who laments the sad fate of her children and ends up returning to Texcoco to immerse herself in its waters.
Island of the Dolls
Dolls have always had a double face. On the one hand, they serve for the little ones to play. But, on the other hand, in certain situations they have something mysterious. This is precisely what happens on the island of the Dolls.
It is located in the area of Xochimilco, just twenty kilometers from Mexico City. You can get there by crossing the canals in curious traditional boats called trajineras.
The fact is that the Island of the Dolls is the scene of terrifying legends. On the other hand, the one that explains its origin is, simply, sad because everything is born of a girl who drowned.
Don Julian Santana was the owner of the plantations (in Nahuatl language, chinampas) where the body of the young woman was found. The impressionable landowner convinced himself that she was appearing to him and, to scare her away, began placing dolls throughout his entire estate.
Curiously, the legend continues saying that now it is Don Julián who come back from time to time to take care of her dolls. In any case, if you dare to visit the island, you will see that it has a truly mysterious and gloomy air.
The alley of the kiss of Guanajuato, a Mexican legend full of lyricism
We now travel to the city of Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name and located in the center of the country, to tell you about this romantic Mexican legend. Specifically, we refer to the alley of the kiss, a small road only 68 centimeters wide whose balconies are, therefore, almost glued.
It was precisely in them that Carlos And Ana, a loving couple whose relationship was forbidden by their parents. When the girl's father found out that she had disobeyed him, he killed her by sticking a dagger in her back.
Carlos, seeing the corpse of his beloved, kissed her hand that was still warm. The legend does not end there. You should know that, if you visit Guanajuato with your partner, you must kiss on the third step of the street. If you do, according to tradition, you will get seven years of happiness.
The Mulata of Veracruz
We now move to Veracruz (here you have an article about what to see in this city) to tell you another sentimental story, although in this case of jealousy and dark revenge. This Mexican legend tells that a mulatto woman as beautiful as she was of unknown origin lived in the city.
Such was her beauty that she rarely went out into the street so as not to arouse gossip. However, it was impossible to avoid them. And people started saying they had witchcraft powers. This began to arouse the misgivings of his fellow citizens.
However, Martin de Ocaña, the mayor of the city, fell madly in love with her. He even offered her all kinds of jewelry for her to marry him. But the mulatto did not accept and that was her downfall. Disgusted, the ruler accused her of having given him a magical concoction to fall into his nets.
Faced with such accusations, the woman was locked up in the Fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, where she was tried and sentenced to die burned before all the people. While awaiting his punishment, he convinced a guard to give him a chalk or gis. With it, he drew a ship and asked the jailer what was missing.
This replied that navigate. Then, the beautiful mulatto woman said "look how she does it" and, with a jump, she got on the boat and, before the astonished gaze of the guard, she went away on the horizon.
Princess Donaji, another tragic Mexican legend
This other legend that we bring you belongs to the folklore of the state of Oaxaca and dates back to pre-Columbian times. Donaji She was a Zapotec princess, granddaughter of King Cosijoeza. At that time, this town was at war with the Mixtecs.
For that reason, they took the princess hostage. However, being threatened by their opponents, they beheaded her, although they never said where they had buried her head.
Many years later, a pastor from the area where he is today Saint Augustine of Juntas he was with his cattle. Found a precious lily and, not wanting to harm it, he chose to dig it up with its root. To his surprise, as he dug, a human head appeared in perfect condition. It was Princess Donaji's. Thus, his body and his head were united and were brought to the Cuilapam temple.
The legend of the Gallo Maldonado
It will not cease to be surprising how many Mexican legends have to do with love disappointments. Well, this one that we bring you to end our tour is also linked to a broken heart.
Luis Maldonado, better known as the Gallo Maldonado, was a young poet who lived in San Luis de Potosí. He was middle class but he fell in love with Eugenia, who belonged to a wealthy family. They had a lasting relationship, but one day the young woman told him that she was ending their romance and not to look for her again.
Depressed by this, the young man in love deteriorated, changing drinks for poems, until he fell ill and died. However, to the surprise of his relatives, one day someone knocked on the door of the house and it turned out to be Maldonado. He did not explain what had happened, he only told them that he was cold and to be allowed in.
They did so, but the unfortunate young man soon resumed his bohemian and degrading life. This lasted for a while, until, again, the Maldonado Gallo disappeared, this time forever. They never heard from him again.
But now comes the best of the story. Some couples in love who walked their love through the historic center of San Luis de Potosí on full moon days have said that the Gallo Maldonado had appeared to them to recite a sentimental poem.
In conclusion, we have told you some of the many Mexican legends that mark the folklore of the Aztec country. But we could tell you about many others. Even if only in passing, we will also quote you the one from corn find on the part of the Aztecs, that of the Black CharroThat of hand on the fence, the of the street of the lost child or that of the feathered serpent or Quetzalcoatl.