It was a huge honour to have been awarded the Silver Siurell 2017 at a gala event at beautiful Caixa Forum in Palma recently. The awards which were inaugurated during the seventies are presented to three recipients in the Baleares by the Balearic Agrotourism Association.
Winners are chosen for having promoted and upheld Mallorcan values, culture and traditions – in my case with my six Mallorcan book titles and articles about the island. I am the first Briton to have won the award so it was a wonderful surprise!
The siurell is an interesting symbol for Mallorca especially as its roots are unknown. Some suggest the little clay figure was an ancient Arabic toy, others that the Phoenicians brought the concept to the Balearic islands. Today the small white figures, painted with distinctive green and red stripes and which serve as a whistle, are a popular tourist purchase. However it is believed that they could once have had deep religious significance.
At one time the siurells were manufactured island wide and even today they are made in towns such as Inca, Consell and Santa Maria. They are often to be found at the annual Fira de Fang (the pottery fair) in Marraxi for a very reasonable price.
The Siurell de Plata is a beautiful silver rendition, and heavy too, so I shall take care if it. It was a wonderful occasion and I was grateful for the support of Lucy Gorman, British Vice Consul, who handed over the award to me on stage. Certainly a night to remember!
Please feel free to comment on this article. All comments are moderated, so it will appear after I have checked it. Thanks!
Please sign up here for my monthly e-newsletter.