Dala horse

Dala horse (in Swedish "Dalahäst") or Dalecarlian horse is a traditional small wooden statue originally from Swedish province of Dalarna. At the beginning it was made as toy. Later it became popular symbol of the province and whole country.

Dala horse
Dala horse

Pine wood is used in carving of Dala horses. In its original form many statues were not painted at all. Nowadays the most common basic colour of this statue is red. Other details and decorations are painted in white, blue, yellow and green.

It is believed that it was the village of Bergkarlås where the first Dala horse was carved. According to historical documents they were sold by local business people in 1623. Some people claim that Dala horse represents a mythological horse Sleipnir. This horse belonged to Odin, major god in Norse mythology. What differs this horse from the Dala one is the fact that it had eight legs.

Today most Dala horses are made the village of Nusnäs. Famous Nils Olsson and Grannas Olsson workshops are located there.