Posted by: efsacco | June 26, 2007

Working with the living and the dead

I’ve been intensively involved in lace and genealogy for the last five years. In order to learn about the women and men who create lace and the tools used to make it, I’ve had to learn about families, and in order to learn about this local history, i’ve immersed myself in genealogy.

Moca, and PR in general, as i’ve mentioned in a previous post, have a 200 year history of lace. I am also fascinated by how racial dynamics are also involved, as among the earlier generation of women who were master artists, some had slave ancestors. Abolition was declared in PR in 1873, and as in other places, aside from being freed, things didn’t change all that much for poor folks in an agrarian based society. This is how lace is connected to more than just a decorative element. There’s a political history to mundillo as well.

Despite lace’s connection to the rich and famous in the past, often overlooked is its connection to exploitative work practices. What’s different about Moca is that mundillo instead offered a way out, a means of earning a little more beyond the factory.

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