‘Dalahästen’ (the Dala horse) is a big symbol of Sweden. It was a symbol for Dalarna from the beginning, but as it has become world famous it is known as the symbol of Sweden.
Dalahästen is made in Nusnäs, a small village in Dalarna. The factory is open for everyone to come and see the process of making the horse.
The oldest Dala horse found is from 1550 and was carved at home in the old days. It was in the beginning of the 1900’s they really started to become a symbol and it was sold as souvenirs and even used to buy groceries in a general store in the village.
The big break through for the horse was in New York’s World’s fair 1939. A 2,5 meter high horse was built for the fair and put in the entrance of the Swedish pavilion and was the one thing that got the most attention at the whole world fair.
The horse is hand carved and hand painted with kurbits – the smallest one 1 cm and the biggest one 1 meter – they make bigger ones if you make a special order. The worlds smallest Dalahäst is 2,4 mm and apparently a male, and the biggest one is 13 meters, standing tall in Avesta, a city in the south of Dalarna, to welcome you to Dalarna.
The traditional colours are red, blue, white, black and natural, but nowadays you can get it in almost any colour.
The rooster is an old symbol and is used until today on the top of Misdsommarstången (the May pole) in Dalarna. The reason is to keep an eye on the village people, making sure they go to bed in the right bed in the evening, according to the people in Nusnäs.
Let’s meet the people of Nusnäs Dalahäst factory!