The eve of the conquest of Mexico -Tenochtitlan by Hernan Cortes and his Spanish army was plagued by omens that Miguel Leon–Portilla enumerates in his book, “Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico”.
Based on codices as well as from memories of the period, Portilla describes a woman who the natives called Cihuacoatl (the serpent woman), who wandered among the temples of the great ‘Mexica’ capital announcing a tragedy:
“O-h-h, my children, the time for our departure draws near. O-h-h-h, my children! Where shall I take you?”
However, it was during the colonial days when the legend of the weeping woman gained the necessary strength to filter into Mexican folklore, and although there are innumerable versions as to the origin of this macabre and heartrending cry, the most popular one is told in detail herein:
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