Mexico's folk Legends: La Mulata de Córdoba

Mexico has a rich tradition of telling scary tales and legends. Mexican folklore is filled with a diverse array of supernatural stories that have been passed down through generations. These tales often feature elements such as ghosts, witches, mythical creatures, and haunted locations, most of them tied to the history or culture of each place.

Mexico's fascination with folk scary stories is particularly evident during Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) when people gather at night to celebrate by sharing local tales and paying tribute to deceased loved ones.

Many Mexican scary tales have their origins in indigenous cultures. These have their own supernatural beliefs and legends that often revolve around nature, gods, and the afterlife. Some of these beliefs have merged with the arrival of the Spanish and began to incorporate Catholic symbols, rituals, and figures alongside indigenous beliefs, resulting in stories that often reflect the heart and soul of Mexican culture.

In this way, the country has contributed many iconic figures to the horror genre, such as La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), which has found its way into popular culture, both within Mexico and beyond.

However, today, we bring you one of Mexico's most exciting and niche-known legends, one that only those who grew up or have been to Veracruz are familiar with! Compared to La Llorona, which most Mexicans are familiar with and even has its own variation depending on the town in which it is told, La Mulata de Cordova is a legend unique to the state of Veracruz. It tells a bit about its unique history.

Have you heard about this tale before? If not, don't worry; get a warm cafecito in one of your favorite mugs, sit back, relax, and learn about this folk tale!

So, gather 'round for the unique tale of La Mulata de Córdoba! It's a story that might make you raise an eyebrow, but many local folks swear it's as real as the sun. 

This story goes back to about 200 years ago in the depths of the beautiful Mexican state of Veracruz (more specifically, in the city of Córdoba). There lived a gorgeous woman who just got more beautiful with every passing year.

Now, this mysterious lady had an extraordinary charm – folks couldn't quite put their finger on it. Besides her looks, she had some rather nifty talents like brewing medicines, predicting eclipses, and even conjuring up storms. That's right, she was like a one-woman magic show.

Here's where it gets interesting: nobody knew where she came from, and she looked a bit different from the locals with her fancy mulatto features. Her beauty was so striking that it turned heads and sparked some major jealousy. The rumor mill started churning, suggesting she was dabbling in dark magic, as no living being could have such beauty.

People talked about strange lights and eerie tunes coming from her place. It wasn't long before the higher officials from the Catholic church, who were like the supernatural investigators of the time, came snooping around. They wanted to see if there was any truth to these tales. But when they showed up at her doorstep, they found nothing unusual. Her home was like any other, and she went about her daily life, ticking off all her Christian boxes.

Now, this is where things take an odd turn. The locals figured the Mulata's bewitching beauty had struck again, this time with the mayor, a fella named Martín Ocaña. He was smitten, tried wooing her with gifts and sweet talk, but she wasn't having any of it. She let him down gently to avoid hurt feelings.

But the mayor? Well, he didn't take the rejection too well. He thought she'd used some love potion on him. Can you believe it? So, he decided to play the "I'm gonna get you" card and reported her to the Mexican Inquisition.

Like its counterpart in Spain, the Inquisition in Mexico was responsible for investigating and (seriously) prosecuting individuals suspected of heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, and other religious offenses. Without questioning or investigation, they believed the mayor's tale and swiftly threw la Mulata into the dungeons of San Juan de Ulúa, Veracruz. 

Given her prior accusations, they had no qualms about declaring her guilty of practicing spells and pacts with the devil. Furthermore, she was condemned to be burned at the stake in front of the entire town, thanks to the recurring allegations of black magic.

But the legend doesn't end there. As the Mulata sat in the cold dungeons, she asked a jailer for a piece of charcoal to entertain herself while she waited for her fiery fate. The man, feeling compassionate for her final days, readily granted her request—he didn't know there was a treat for him just for that.

La Mulata, then, spent her final days quietly drawing in the dungeon walls. But she didn't etch any doodles; she drew the world's most detailed ship, including its sails and every wood beam.

And so, like that, the morning when she was set to be burned at the stake, the jailer walked in to get her, and there it was, her masterpiece on the wall. He marveled at her drawing and commented that it was astonishing. In response, she asked if anything was missing from her boat. Still astonished, the man replied, "Only that it may sail!" And at that very moment, she leaped into the drawing and vanished into the vastness of her creation. 

The guard was so stunned by what he had witnessed that he died instantly, while La Mulata de Córdoba was never seen again. This is where the legend remains etched, one of the most recounted tales in the Port of Veracruz.

So, what do you think? Were you familiar with this tale? Will you be telling the story of La Mulata de Córdoba this time of the year? Do you find the origin of this story interesting? What other folk tale would you like for us to tell you about? Remember, we love hearing from you and read all of your feedback with love and gratitude!


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