Let's start with a clear definition: a pumo is a ceramic flower bud surrounded by acanthus leaves.
Pumi are made in all sort of versions: coloured, hand-decorated, and also fully covered with small leaves, as in the case of pinecones.
The pumi, in all their beauty, are the protagonists of Mest Black Friday: 20% off on all products in the shop for any purchase from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th of November (the promotion will end on 25/11 at 23:59).
Black Friday Code: BLACKMEST
A bit of history: why are they called pumi?
The word pumo comes from the Latin pomum (fruit) and is said to have its roots in honouring Pomona, the pagan goddess of earth, fruitful abundance and fruits typical of the Mediterranean coasts: olives and grapes.
Like the deity from which they derive their name, the pumi are symbols of rebirth, triumph of life and fertility of the earth. As symbol of good luck, the pumi bring fecundity to the family to which they belong. Historically, they are closely linked to the town of Grottaglie in the province of Taranto, a hub and true centre of excellence in Apulia when it comes to artistic ceramics and craftsmanship. That's why Mest has chosen for the online shop the pumi of Bottega Vestita, a family-run workshop with a long tradition of craftsmanship in the ceramic product manufacturing.
(Photo credits: Serena Cevenini)
What is their historical meaning?
The pumi have an Apulian heart not only because they are an essential part of the history of this land, but also because they embody the spirit of craftsmanship, the dedication to manual labour and, why not, even a hint of superstition, all typical characteristics of Puglia
The pumi decorate the balconies of the historical residences of the town of Grottaglie, the entrances and the facades of noble palaces. They can also be found, however, in other cities around Puglia: they sprout from the vases full of flowers, or tower solitary at the corners of the terraces, lined up in a colourful and symmetrical order. Having the pumi at home is said to have been a guarantee of fortune and prosperity for the family that "hosted" them, and it could not have been otherwise: the rose-like bud is the symbol of rebirth, the acanthus leaves represent prosperity and beauty. When you see them while walking through the streets of Puglia, you will recognize a house protected by the ancient wisdom of the pumi, which keep away adversity, misfortune and evil spirits. Giving and being given a pumo becomes, therefore, a gesture of good luck, even now that the pumi have become important decorative elements for the new Apulian design.
Pumi in design
The form of the pumi is characteristic and may vary according to the taste of the craftsman: the classic acanthus leaves may disappear to give life to a simple bud, also crafted with geometric motifs in relief or painted.
Colour is another essential element: the pumi can be in solid colour, bright and enamelled, clearly visible under the Apulian sun, or they can be decorated with hand-made pictorial motifs.
The traditional colours are cream and ochre, but the chromatic nuances have become almost infinite, depending on the taste of the craftsman. The pumi are a highly sought-after piece of furniture, but this fast evolution has not altered them, leaving untouched their historical meaning. For this reason it is important to safeguard the artisan workshops dedicated to the production of pumi following the tradition with a touch of contemporary taste. It would be impossible, after all, to take the symbolic meaning and its historical value away from a pumo. Pumo means good luck and prosperity, but above all:
Pumo means Puglia.
Mest chooses every day to protect the tradition of Apulian craftsmanship by selecting unique creations that bring around the world the warmth and beauty of this land.
Mest Black Friday
20% off on all products of the Mest shop from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th of November. The discount will be applied automatically in the cart entering the code
In copertina: photo credits Mest