What is the history of the Moro Heads?

Sicilian Moorhead

It is said that in Palermo, in the beautiful Arab quarter ‘Al Hâlisah (now the Kalsa), where the sultan once stayed, there lived in a palace a maiden who loved to spend her days tending the flowers and plants on her balcony.

One day a young Moorish man happened to be passing under her balcony who, seeing the maiden so beautiful and graceful fell in love with her (lightning strike it was!). Immediately he declared his love for her, and the girl, seeing in the young man such strength, boldness and passion, more than willingly returned the sentiment.

But from here, the love story undergoes a change, and from being romantic and sappy that it was, it begins to take on a thriller aspect. Unfortunately (for him) the young Moor was married to Prole.

The girl, who learned of this, and, like any self-respecting female, began plotting revenge. During the night, while the young man slept she took a sword and cut off his head. The severed head placed on the balcony as a flower pot to adorn the maiden’s beautiful plants. Out of this comes the Sicilian Moorheads.

Another story about the Sicilian Moorhead

More credible given the themes and luighi, it would exonerate the woman. The maiden, of noble origins, was living a clandestine love affair with a young Arab man. This impossible love was soon discovered and punished by the beheading of both young lovers.

The shame of this love, would, moreover, have been proclaimed by the posting of both heads (turned into vases for the occasion) on a balcony. The havoc, exalted by these heads placed at the mercy of passers-by, would thus have been a factual warning against any other possible unseemly passion. For this reason, Sicilian Moorheads are made in pairs, in memory and honor of the two murdered lovers

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