Rosa Elena Egipciaco
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Rosa Elena Egipciaco, often referred to as the 'Queen of Mundillo', is a master Mundillo lacemaker and teacher of this Puerto Rican folk art. In addition to being part of the long Mundillo tradition of her hometown of Moca, Puerto Rico, she claims a place in a much larger, much longer tradition of Spanish and European bobbin lacemaking.
Rosa Elena Egipciaco was born in Moca into a family steeped in lace-making, as her mother and grandmother were noted makers of lace. She recalls starting to learn mundillo when she was three or four years old. After graduating from the University of Rio Piedras, she continued to practice mundillo and co-founded the Cultural Center of Moca. In 1986, Egipciaco moved to New York and dedicated herself to teaching lace-making through a variety of programs ranging from workshops for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to serving as a master in the New York State Council on the Arts Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program.
On September 19, 2003, Rosa Elena Egipciaco of New York City was honored for her mundillo. She is one of sixteen artists to receive National Heritage Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. The fellowships are the country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. The awardees, chosen their artistic excellence, authenticity, and contributions to their field, each receive a one-time award of $20,000. NY Folklore Journal