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Les têtes de Maure
15 May 2019

Les têtes de Maure

The famous ceramic pots born from a sad love story

Ceramic pots depicting Moorish heads are very common in Sicily so as to have become the symbols of the island and considered true works of art. But how many of you know the history of these pots? Legend tells that these masterpieces were born from a love story that ended in tragedy..

Two ceramic pots depicting Moorish Heads
Ceramic pots depicting Moorish Heads

The legend of Sicilian Moorish heads

Legend narrates that in the “kalsa” district in the city of Palermo lived a beautiful girl who used to take care of her plants on the balcony of her house; one day a young and charming Moor passed under her house and the two fell in love immediately. The young girl, however, discovered that the man had a wife and children waiting for him in the Far East, and was so taken by an attack of jealousy that led her to think of a way to keep the man always with her. So one night she killed the man during his sleep by taking his head off: she used the head of the Moor as a pot where she planted aromatic plants and so it was that on her balcony grew a lush plant of basil. The passers-by envious of the plant but especially of the pot, worked to make similar vases, depecting the head of the Moor.

Today is not difficult to see the Moorish Head on the Sicilian balconies, they are one of the most popular handicrafts in Sicily; there are different sizes and it is therefore easy to buy some as a souvenir of your trip to Sicily.
Do not miss the opportunity to see these works of local craftsmanship up close and maybe bring some at home ( or as a gift for your friends). Book your private tour to Caltagirone ( a city famous for its ceramics), Palermo, Taormina and other beautiful Sicilian cities!

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