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Why you should never betray a Sicilian lady!

Walking through the streets of Sicilian cities, it is easy to be fascinated by the magnificence of vases showing faces with a solemn and melancholic expression. Symbols of the Italian tradition, we are talking about The Moors Heads.

These masterpieces have origins in an ancient legend. The main characters of the legend are: a beautiful Sicilian girl and a young Moor. It was the year 1100, during the Moors’ domination in Sicily. In the Kalsa, the Arab quarter of Palermo, a beautiful young maiden lived. The girl spent her days cultivating and caring for the plants on her balcony.

One day, a young Moorish merchant noticed the young woman and instantly became captivated by her rare beauty and declared his love for her. Their love story was going very well, till the young maiden learned the Moorish would return to his country where his wife and children waited for him. So, the betrayed lady, very hurt, devised her revenge.

The young woman waited until nightfall for him to fall asleep and killed him. She decapitated her beloved. What did she make with his head? She turned it into pot, filling it with basil, symbol of passion. The pot grew lush, so as to arouse the envy of the local residents who ordered the construction of similar vessels, in the form of Moor head.
Is it clear now why you don’t betray a Sicilian woman? The risk is to end up like the Moor Head!

P.S: Oops I almost forgot…today the Moor Heads are reproduced in pairs and more recently the design of the heads have been made popular and brought to fame in the fashion industry by the designers Dolce&Gabbana.