Wildman – Storuman, Sweden - Atlas Obscura
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Storuman, Sweden

Wildman

The giant club-wielding wildman stands proud as the symbol of Swedish Lapland. 

Spend any time in Storuman and you won’t likely miss the local wildman statue; huge, bright red, and brandishing his club. He’s the stuff of legends, this guy. He stands guard in front of Hotell Toppen in the heart of town. 

The wildman is considered a heroic figure in the Lapland region of Sweden and Finland. He is depicted on the coat of arms in both provinces, a burly woodsman with a green leafy wreath around his head and a club resting on his shoulder.

The wildman became the official heraldic symbol of Lapland in the 19th century, but a wild, hairy, club-wielding man (and sometimes woman) of the wilderness began appearing in art and literature back in the late Middle Ages. The figure appears on several coat of arms around Europe, and has long been associated with the “uncivilized” north.

The first sign of the Lapland “vildman” specifically can be traced back to the 1600s, when the symbol (though without the red skin) appeared on a coin at the coronation of King Charles IX of Sweden, and again at his burial. 

Know Before You Go

On the south side of the A12 in the heart of Storuman.