Dala Horses from Renown Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab Workshop, Nusnäs, Sweden

Posted on November 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

My Growing Traditions is pleased to now carry the Scandinavian Folk Art symbol - the Dala Horse (Dalahäst). We have chosen the very best - the art of the Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab workshop founded on 28 June 1928 in Nusnäs, Sweden. And, we carry multiple sizes (1-1/2" to 6" tall). The most famous design, the essential Dala Horse

is available in red, blue, black and pink.

The Antique, more traditional, Horse is available in red and black                    

and we even have an irresistible Dala Pig

In Nordic mythology the horse belonged to the Gods. Horses arrived in Sweden 4000 years ago when they were tamed and domesticated by the Stridsyxe people. It is known that the precursor to the Dala Horse, carved wooden horses, have existed in Sweden since at least the 1600s. In the 1700s forestry workers of Dalarna sat by the fire after a hard day’s work of timbering and carved toys for their children - to carve a horse was only natural, the horse being essential to their trade and a symbol of strength, courage, faithfulness, wisdom, and dignity. 

In the 1800s it became common to paint the carved horses, using the kurbits style of decorative painting of the Dalarna province used to paint furniture and other decorative items in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the 1830s Swedish artist Stika Erik Hansson painted Dala horses with a unique two-color (red and green) simplified form of kurbits decoration and his Dala horse pattern became the tradition for Dala horse making in Sweden. Peddlers traveled throughout Sweden selling their household wares and Dala Horses (which they often used to barter for their food and shelter). Production of the horses became centered in Dalarna, especially in Nusnäs, and remains there today. The name “Dala Horse” (Dalahäst) is a diminutive derived from the word “Dalecarlian,” the language/dialect spoken in Dalarna. 

The Olson family brothers Nils and Jannes, 13 and 15 years of age, of Nusnäs, began by carving horses in their home after school as a cottage industry. In 1928 they borrowed 400 dollars to start up a workshop. Dala Horses became world famous when they were presented as traditional Swedish Folk Art at the World’s Expo in Paris (1937) and at the World’s Fair in New York (1939). Today, the Dala Horse is a national symbol of Sweden.

Nils Olsson Hemslöjd (Handicraft) ab is renown for creating the most refined, artistic, and thus collectible Dala Horses, and we are proud to now offer them to you.

Posted in Dala Horses, Scandinavia



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