When Death Becomes a Lady

“Escondete que por ahi esta La Pelona.”

Each time someone dies in my community I usually wait because I know someone will follow.  I usually tell my dad as a joke, “Econdete que te lleva la pelona.”,  which means go into hiding because death is lurking around to see who it can  snatch.

via google images

I find it kind of funny, but he doesn’t (I wonder why???).

About the coincidence of people dying in pairs or even in triplets can be a bit spooky. After one funeral is over, people are expecting another to follow pretty quickly and the weirdest part of it all is that nobody has to wait too long.

I usually tell my mom, wait and see a couple of more people are sure to die in the next couple of weeks, and I’m never wrong.

Why do we call death “la pelona”???  The word refers to death as a woman with no or little hair.  Talk about having a bad reputation.

Part of our folklore is to address the concept of death with a full-blown costume.  We want to make it more palpable, it’s something real, it’s something that can happen to anyone anytime.  Death takes a form, a body, a voice, and a personality.  This is not only common here on our Island, but also across the board in all Hispanic countries in Central and South America. 

We could probably pin it on our African heritage, they sure added  flavor to our culture.

Yet, is it possible for us to elude death?  Can we hide from it?

It seems we think we can, if not we wouldn’t be repeating over and over “escondete que por ahi esta la pelona”.


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