The Testa di Moro is an ornamental object that was born as a hand-painted ceramic vase, depicting the face of a Moro, and sometimes of a beautiful-looking young woman. It is often of important dimensions, finely hand-painted, with a crown on the head and sumptuous jewels around the neck.

The origin of the Testa di Moro is traced back to the period of Arab domination in Sicily, between the ninth and twelfth centuries. This thesis is also supported by some features: the somatic features reported in the oldest finds, very similar to those of the Arab population, and the decoration of the crown, which symbolizes the people who reigned at the time.

< p> The anthropoid vessels, that is those which recall in some parts or decorations the human face or bust, are actually of much more ancient origin. Their use dates back to the prehistoric period: archaeological finds demonstrate how the amphorae had the neck decorated, through simple engraved features, to represent the basic components of a face: eyebrows, eyes and a hint of the lips; while on the body of the vessel there were often two protuberances very similar to the shape of the female breasts. From then on, ancient art is richly dotted with vases, sometimes decorative at other times for funerary use, whose volumes or decorations recall the appearance of humans or animals, as in the case of Egyptian civilization, for example. < / p>

Today the Teste di Moro are an emblem of the Sicilian artistic tradition: they are almost always exhibited in pairs on the balconies of Sicilian houses, on the sides of the sunny terraces in country villas, but also as valuable objects inside the houses in the cities of Italy and the world.

My emotion:

As a child, in the garden of the house of my uncles in Palermo, to adorn the entrance of the avenue covered with grape pergolas, there were succulents that emerged from red terracotta vases, in the shape of a dark brown head. Every time I passed by, I looked at them with a mixture of anxiety and fascination. It seemed to me that a life form had crystallized in those strange objects and that at any moment the Testa di Moro could animate and speak.

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