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martes, 2 de agosto de 2011

Myths and legends from Michoacan: The Beautiful Lady of the Zacapu Lagoon

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THE BEAUTIFUL LADY OF THE LAGOON
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(Folk story from Zacapu, Michoacan)
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This story comes from Zacapu, Michoacan. The tale is important because it comes from Prehispanic times and it says that the lagoon of Zacapu, once large and glorious, was long ago witness to a dramatic romance. It is said that during the reign of Purembe, there lived a young lady, as beautiful as the morning dew, as bright and pure as the moon, and very much in love with a prince from another Purepecha tribe. The prince would visit the lady at the lakeside every afternoon, and they spent some very happy moments there, always waiting to watch the glorious red sunsets together.
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But it seems that happiness cannot last forever, and one sad day, the prince had to go away on official duty. The weeks turned into months, and the Lady of Zacapu received no news from her beloved. Disobeying her mother’s advice, the brave girl impulsively decided to go and look for the prince. She first went to the lagoon, kissed the Uringuarapexo pyramid goodbye, and then took a canoe and sailed away across the water. But her fate, or maybe her lack of experience in the art of canoeing, led to a tragic accident, and the beautiful young woman drowned; the waters of the lagoon closed over her sweet body forever.
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When the young prince finally heard of his dearest love’s demise, he never came back to Zacapu again. He could not bear the pain of going there, now his beloved was dead. Homero Adame's legends.
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But this is not quite the end of the story. Legend has it that even today, the spirit of the Lady of the Lagoon still appears at midnight, ever looking for her prince. She emerges from the lake and walks through the streets, all the way to the town centre. Whenever she sees a young man, she asks him to follow her to the lagoon. But the old people say that those who follow her never return. And the young women are afraid she may steal their sweethearts, too.
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Legend taken from the English textbook Activate! 2, by Carol Lethaby, Homero Adame, and Pat Grounds. Ediciones Castillo. Monterrey, Mexico, 2003. P.166.
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Would you like to read more Mexican folk stories? Check out this other blog: Mexican Folk Literature
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