The Sicilian ceramic heads, also known as Teste di Moro (Moorish Heads), are a distinctive form of ceramic art that originated in Sicily, Italy. These ceramic heads are characterized by their unique shape, featuring a black face with white eyes, nose, and mouth, often with a turban or headscarf on top.
There are several legends associated with the figurines. One of the most well-known legends is that the figurines represent the severed heads of Saracen warriors who were defeated by the Normans in the 11th century. The story goes that the Normans would sever the heads of their enemies and display them as trophies. However, as time passed, the severed heads were replaced with ceramic replicas, which eventually became the Teste di Moro figurines.
Another legend suggests that the figurines represent the faces of African slaves who were brought to Sicily by the Moors during the 9th century. The slaves were reportedly forced to work on the construction of important buildings and monuments in Sicily, and the Teste di Moro figurines were originally used as decorative elements in these buildings.
The figurines are not considered to be lucky or unlucky in Sicilian culture. However, some people do believe that the Teste di Moro figurines can bring good luck or ward off evil spirits if they are placed in specific areas of the home or garden. For example, it is said that placing the figurines on the windowsill can bring prosperity and ward off the evil eye. Similarly, some people believe that placing the figurines in the garden can protect the home from malevolent spirits and promote good luck.