Folk Painting of a Trinacria on Ceramic Jug


This Trinacria is painted on a ceramic jug in the same folk-style as a Sicilian cart might be painted. In this case, the Trinacria not only possesses wings, but snakes–versus wheat–decorating the head at the center of the three legs.

My friend Dolores DeLuise explained the history and symbolism of the Trinacria beautifully: “The Trinacria is a syncretic symbol. It contains Medusa, the Greek Gorgon at the center, mixed today with the wheat headdress of Greek Demeter or Roman Ceres, who lived in Sicily and the three legs of the [island] ‘triangle’ the Greeks called Trinacria. The peculiar position of the feet is reminiscent, to me (in my chapter on Sicily in the book ‘Goddesses in World Culture’ vol 2), of the position of the arms of the Goddess Tanit, the Carthaginian goddess who presided over child sacrifice in the western Carthaginian settlements, most notably on the island of Motzia.” Thank you Dolores!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Allison, I love this folk art and the explanation by your friend of the several characters from different cultures, closely related, that make up the Trinacria. I have never seen a three-legged symbol like this with wings and snakes! And the photo, as always, is beautiful. Thank you for adding this beauty and culture to my Thursday! -Dana

    1. Dana, Thank you so much for your feedback and continued support! It means a lot to me. Sincerely, Allison

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