The Moor’s heads are one of the representative symbols of Sicily.
These particular objects adorn the balconies of the houses and are often used as a decorative element in the living rooms of Sicilians and tourists who buy them as souvenirs at the various artisan shops of Santo Stefano di Camastra and Caltagirone.
They are handmade ceramic vases that depict the face of a man and a woman.
It is said that this myth dates back to the year 1000, when in Sicily there was the domination of the Moors (Arabs).
Like so many fantasies about beautiful Sicily, love for life, lost honour and the macabre of death are intertwined in this story.
The protagonist neighbourhood where the legend takes place is the Kalsa neighbourhood in Palermo, where a beautiful woman lived and spent her days on her balcony taking care of her plants.
Because of her extraordinary beauty a young Moor fell in love with her.
The young man immediately declared his love to the girl who reciprocated with passion.
The young man, however, hid a great secret in his heart: in the East his wife and children were waiting for him and for this he was obliged to return home.
When the girl discovered the secret, she was embittered and to take revenge she waited until the young man fell asleep and then killed him and cut off his head.
The girl put the Moor’s head inside one of her pots and planted a basil plant that grew luxuriantly thanks to her tears that she shed every day, provoking, however, the envy of all the inhabitants of the neighbourhood who had pots built in ceramic in the shape of a Moor’s head.