Are Dala horses Norwegian or Swedish?

Through the years the hand-carved and hand-painted Dala Horse has become a symbol of authentic Swedish handicraft and one of Sweden’s most popular souvenirs. The name comes from the horse’s home province, Dalarna, in central Sweden. Most popular are the red-orange horses from the little village of Nusnäs near Mora.

Why is it called a Dala horse?

Originally, Dala horses were made as toys for children to play with. They were produced in Dalarna region, in the central Sweden in small villages, where people lived surrounded by forests. This is where the name stems from. The toys gained popularity first in the region, but were also sold to other regions in Sweden.

Where do they make Dala horses?

Nusnäs, Sweden
Red wooden horses called dala horses have been traditional handicrafts in Nusnäs, Sweden, for centuries. The horses are painted a specific shade of red called Falu red that comes from the mines in the Dalarna region. One family-run dala horse manufacturer is committed to making these crafts almost entirely by hand.

Why is Dala horse Lucky?

The horse itself was considered as a status symbol and highly valued property in the Swedish household. These days Dala horse is a traditional gift in Sweden for any kind of life celebration including weddings and graduations. The much loved Swedish souvenir even treated as collectors’ items by some.

What color are Dala horses?

Traditionally, Dala horses are painted red and lovingly decorated with a painted saddle and bridle. They come in all colours and sizes, from clear varnish to pink, in the national colours of Sweden or in individual designs for special occasions.

How are Dala horses made?

Producing a Dala horse takes about two weeks. First, a template is stamped onto the wood that has been selected and prepared. Using electric saws, the horses are cut out and given their general form. Then, they are hand carved and smoothed until they have obtained the desired shape.

Who invented the Dala horse?

Dala horses originally came from the Mora villages Vattnäs, Risa, Bergkarlås and Nusnäs. The best-known carver from the old days was Tysk Anders Gunnarsson, known as Gambel Damben. In 1928, the brothers Nils and Jannes Olsson from Nusnäs took up the old handicraft. Nils was 15, Jannes 13 years old.

What kind of wood are Dala horses made of?

The Dala horse was a beloved toy, but they also became big business as demand both in and out of Sweden grew. The sawmills used the wood from slow growing pine forests and cut a basic horse shape freehand using a band saw.

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