Monday, December 13, 2010

trimmings and trappings, part 3

another installment of my trimmings and trappings series. today is all about the Dala horse

this is perhaps one of my most favorite holiday traditions. the dala horse (or dalecarlian horse) is from the province of dalarna in sweden. traditionally the dala is a small hand carved wooden horse with beautiful folk designs painted over a red or blue background.

my grandmother used to set hers out with a few evergreens around the holidays, thought they are not traditionally associated with christmas, in my mind they are synonymous.

originally carved out of scrap wood for children - a figure of a horse was the obvious choice given its place of value in the logging and farming communities where these figures were first made.

some also believe that the bright folk painting seen in the harness design on the dala horse originates from the elaborate wall paintings seen in the palaces and homes of the wealthy in historic sweden. the bright decoration in the kurbit, or flower patterned saddle, was regularly added to the horse beginning in the 1800s.

i particularly love this matte black horse from swedishness.

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