Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen
I am visiting Dalarna, the central province of Sweden together with my mother and sister. It is considered more Swedish than ABBA and IKEA combined, with its beautiful red-colored cottages, glimmering lakes and deep forests. I have of course bought myself the symbol of Swedish heart and soul, the traditional carved and painted wooden Dala horse. It is made out of pine and its pattern is about 150 years old.
Way back the horses were highly valued in Sweden and were a symbol of strength and courage. Wooden horses were therefore carved by men working in the forests during long winter evenings and brought back to the village for the children to play with.
Even young children had to learn to carve wooden horses after returning home from school. In the little village Nusnäs the children of the Grannas Olsson family started a small business in 1928, and their children and grand children are still producing the Dala horses to this day. Their Dala horse is considered the authentic one. Watch this !