pastora and picuraru - in the Sicilian mean - shepherd - is there a difference in their meaning or usage?

The words pastora and picuraru are used in the Sicilian nativity song - Lu picuraru - apparently to mean - shepherd. Do they have a different meaning ?

Nun durmiti chiù pastura,

già che è natu lu Missia

Bettilemme e li fridduri

nascì in brazza di Maria

La ninna oh la ninna oh

dormi Gesù e fai la vo vo.

Ora veni lu picuraru,

e nun havi chi ci purtari,

porta latti ‘ntra la cisca,

cascavaddu e tuma frisca.

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Apr 30, 2018 11:17 PM
Comments · 15

From my experience, generally we use the word related to the kind of animal, i.e. "picuraru", "craparu", "vaccaru", etc.. "Pasturi" is less common. I would say it is ok to use "picuraru" for someone who tends both sheeps and goats, and according to the Sicilian wikipedia, it can also assume a broader meaning (

As for the grammar, "pastura" is the plural of "pasturi", it belongs to the kind of masculine names that forms their plural like the neuter in Latin, by changing their ending in -a (the same does "picuraru", its plural is "picurara"). Like "u cannolo"/"i cannola" or "u vrazzu/i vrazza" (the arm/the arms).

A folklore note: I have just learned that in Sicilian the firefly is called "cannila ri picuraru" ("shepherd's candle").

May 1, 2018
I found an approximate translation of the words of the song - Nuvole bianche  (White Clouds)
May 1, 2018 ;   - this is very good

I searched and found that the singer Alessia Tondo has some other good videos on youtube eg

May 1, 2018

Good songs, I have many of these through Spotify, first searching for Sicilian then following up on the artists and their albums and related artists. Finding the lyrics has been harder so those links are useful.

May 1, 2018

The incredible Anna Magnani sings Ciuri, ciuri 

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May 1, 2018
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