do Encaixe de Camariñas
The first edition of the Camariñas Lace Festival took place in Easter week of 1991, officially opened by the Minister of Industry Juan Fernández, the President of the Province of A Coruña Salvador Fernández Moreda, the ex-president of Galicia Fernando González Laxe and the Mayor of Camariñas Bautista Santos.
Some historians claim that the origins of Camariñas Lace originate in the commercial relations between the ports of Galicia and The Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Other local history scholars opt for the theory that lace arrived in Camariñas after an Italian girl was rescued by the villagers from a terrible shipwreck which occurred on the coast of Camariñas. This girl would then go on to teach the craft of Italian bobbin lace to all the women of the village, in turn spreading this craft throughout the Costa da Morte. There’s another theory circulating with the idea that it was the hardworking women who lived in the Camariñas area who at some point developed this art and later exported it to other territories. Since time immemorial, it is well-known that every Galician carries inside a traveling and enterprising soul.
In any case, some of these theories have a more scientific basis than others, so we leave it to each reader to interpret them in their own way. After this small clarification on the origin of the Lace of Camariñas, we are going to provide some of the key elements of the Camariñas Lace Festival.
The year was 1991 and Camariñas opened its first edition of the Camariñas Lace Festival, which would transform the working lives of lacemakers from all over the Costa da Morte.
Since the very first editions of the Mostra, the meeting between the local lacemakers and those from the rest of Spain and Europe has been constant, making this event and the Camariñas craft well known throughout the world.
One of the keys to the survival and the revaluation of the Camariñas Lace, has been the creation of Lacemaking schools in the Council villages. Nowadays in Camariñas, dozens of children participate in this extracurricular activity.
If the lace craft is complementary to the idiosyncrasy of Camariñas, the lace making town would not be understood as such today without the Easter Lace Festival. Looking back almost 60 years, we can see the radical change in the ancient craft of the Lace of Camariñas. When women at the time were asked by curious reporters about the future of bobbin lace, our great-grandmothers would reply, “This lace will of course disappear.”
Our women of the old days didn’t know how wrong they were. After several attempts to market this art with dignity, it was the Council of Camariñas that set to organize the first Mostra, which was a turning point in the revival of the immense work done by these past heroines.
The inauguration of this first edition was supported by numerous authorities such as Fernando González Laxe, former President of the Xunta, the Minister of Industry Juan Fernández and Salvador Fernández Moreda as President of the Provincial Council of A Coruña.
It has been 30 years since these historical images of the inauguration of the First Lace Festival were taken. Many of its protagonists are no longer among us. This is our tribute.
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