Siurells in Portol Marratxi Mallorca

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making siurells
siurell figures
Pottery Museum sa Cabaneta Marratxi Mallorca

The most traditional siurell figures are a horseman, a devil and a lady. Made from clay, dipped in white lime and daubed with red and green streaks, the base of each is a whistle. It was once customary for every child visiting the annual San Marçal Fair to be bought one of these whistles.

Prior to their becoming playthings for children, it is believed they were blown either to banish evil spirits or that they were used to summon the wind at threshing time to assist in separating the grain. In addition, blown on the night of the full moon, the horseman was said to bring luck the devil, money, and the lady, love.

The siurell may originate from the Minoan civilisation, as there are figures in Crete from the Palace at Knossos. It is known that people of that era visited the Balearic Islands.