A large 30 feet tall Dala (dawla) horse, which is the most
recognized Swedish symbol in the world, was dedicated by the Swedish
Heritage Association on October 10, 2000.
These brightly colored horses have been carved in various sizes by
Swedish craftsmen and take their name from the province of Dalarna
where is has been a popular form of domestic art since the 1840s.
Historical accounts vary in giving credit to woodsmen and to soldiers
for originating the craft. It is certain that long autumn and winter
evenings with little to do, coupled with the availability of wood
scraps from the furniture-making trade of the area, fostered the
development of the Dala Horse.
The first Dala Horses were
plain wood, created as toys for children. A hundred years later, they
took on their familiar bright colors and kurbit (flower-patterned)
saddle and harness designs.