Shop Sicilian Moro Heads
The Sicilian Moro Heads pieces you'll find here are designed by Lia Briamonte and handmade in the city of Caltagirone, Italy.
With each Moor head taking over two hours to mould and 3 days to set before being hand-painted and glazed, you’ll be sure that your newest piece of Sicilian decor is truly authentic. Of all the Sicilian ceramics, the Moro or ‘Moorish’ heads are some of the most famous - their unmistakable features and decorative crown are unique to the Caltagirone region.
These beautifully colourful vases look fabulous with flowers or plants and are one of our best sellers at Anemone, made in batches of 10 4 times a year.
What is a Moro Head?
The Sicilian Moro Head has gone by many names: ‘Moorish head’, ‘Moor head’ or ‘Teste di Moro’ but the history remains strong.
These clay heads are authentic Sicilian decoration pieces, that date almost a thousand years in the past.
The Merchant and the Beautiful Girl
Dating back to the 11th Century, the Sicilian ceramic head is said to have come from the story of a gorgeous girl and a Moor merchant. The girl was living in the Arabic district of Palermo and had the habit of taking care of plants on the balcony of her house.
While passing by, the merchant fell in love with her immediately. The girl reciprocated the man's love. However, he’d not told her that he already had a family waiting for his return home.
His wife, upon finding out, was seething with anger and decapitated him in his sleep. She turned his head into a vase and planted a seed of basil.
The neighbours were so impressed they created their own ceramic vases resembling ahead, and with it was born the legend of the Sicilian Moro head.
Today you can still see Moro heads decorating the balconies of Siciliy, despite the slightly gruesome history!