A Cry for the Lost: A Transitioning Native Worldview in Colonial California
Sanchez, Kivani Ailene
Submission to the Friends of Fondren Library Undergraduate Research Awards, 2017. This paper was originally prepared for Course ENGL 471 (Fall 2016): Chicano Literature, given by Professor Dr. Aranda & Professor Valdez, Department of English.
Historically, people have used legends across cultures as a means of transmitting moral values and socializing the young while providing a source of entertainment and education to their listeners. Contemporary versions of legends have the ability to provide insight to the underlying worldviews, which are shaped by the cultural context within a particular timeframe of history, that inspire revisions of a particular legend. In this essay, I use the methodology presented in Domino Perez’s There was a Woman: La Llorona from Folklore to Popular Culture (2008) to examine a story told by one of the characters in Jorge’s Ainslie’s novel, “Los Pochos” (1934), as a revision of the legend La Llorona that serves as a non-traditional historical narrative of the effects of Westernization on the native population within the missions of Alta-California. I argue that the areas of revision within the telling demonstrate a transitioning worldview of the villagers of San Fernando del Rey that is shaped by the cultural, societal, and historical contexts of Spanish Colonialism within mission communities of Alta-California.