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Casa Cifali

  • Writer's pictureMassimo

The legend of the Moro head

Among the various ceramics produced in Sicily, the most curious and needing more attention are the classic “Teste di Moro.” The legend goes back to the period of Arab rule in Sicily. In the Arab neighborhood of Palermo Al Halisah (today Kalsa), there lived a beautiful girl with peach skin and eyes as blue as our Sicilian sea. Young women at that time in Sicily lived at home with their families and were unable to go out alone, so she dedicated herself to helping her mother and tending the plants and flowers on her balcony. A young Arab who lived in the neighborhood fell for her declaring his love. The girl saw in the young man so much audacity and passion, she willingly returned his feelings. But one day she came to know that the young man was married with children. So she swore revenge and, during the night while the young man slept, she took a sword and cut off his head. She then took the head and put it on her balcony to adorn the beautiful plants, but also as a reminder that with her you cannot joke. Today you can see these ceramic heads used as planters on many Sicilian balconies.

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