Is in the village of Nusnäs, in Dalarna, where for the most of the people the real Dala horse is produced. Over 250,000 Dala Horses are produced there every year. According to a legend, in the winter of 1716, a soldier kept quartered in a private home created the horse as a gift for the house´s children.
A craftsman giving a piece of wood the shape that will become a Horse, with a single knife, like in the old days
By 1800 horse making quickly flourished, and many rural families developed a dependence on horce production in order to gain resources for surviving. The decoration of the Dala horse (the first horses were not painted or were only one colour) has its roots in furniture painting and was perfected over the years.
Today, Nusnäs is still the center of Horse production, being the most renowned the Nils Olsson and Grannas Olsson (founded in 1922) workshops.
Giving a stock of little horses their remarkable color
The wood from which the figures are carved comes from the slow-growing pine forest around Lake Siljan, ideal for carpentry and carving. The trees to be made into horses are marked out while still standing in the forest. Only the best timber will be selected for carving into horses. The trees are felled and sawed into pieces of a suitable size for the blanks that will eventually be made into Dalecarlian horses.
The blanks are sawed and carved by hand. Because of this, no two horses are exactly alike.
The Dala Horse, a symbol of Swedish Handicraft, born in a lonely log in the middle of the forest, for the rest of the World to enjoy and admire.