Calling someone a Giufà is like calling them a fool.
But who is Giufà? Giufà is the typical Sicilian fool. Their stories have been handed down orally from generation to generation through the cunti of the cantastorie (storytellers) and became popular in Sicily since the Arab domination. Writers and scholars started writing them down in the last century.
This bold boy represents the typical stereotype of all Sicilian children: he is naive and troublemaker but creative and blessed with luck. He often gets into trouble, but he always manages to get away with it. He did not received a proper education, but he’s naturally funny and his comic character prevails even in highly tense narrative situations.
Giuseppe Pitrè, from Palermo, is the pioneer of demo psychology and founder of the Sicilian Ethnographic Museum in Palermo. Giuseppe collected the entire folkloric heritage of Sicily, including the collection and transcription of all the stories based on the Giufà character.
Giufà’s most famous adventures include the “pulled” door, the bandits, and those that are part of the Truvature genre. These stories tell about the unexpected discovery of a hidden treasure. The roots of the Truvature are probably related to the times when Sicily was invaded by foreign peoples and families used to bury all their fortunes. Indeed, since the dawn of time, the island’s inhabitants have been subject to the domination of several different peoples. Truvature are widespread throughout Sicily, such as in Catania area (in Randazzo and Castiglione di Sicilia), in Palermo area (in Monreale and Contessa Entellina), in Messina area (Monte Scuderi) and in Syracuse area (Marzamemi).