Matryoshka dolls from Russia.
Matryoshka dolls or commonly known as Russian Nesting Dolls are very popular Russian souvenirs. They are Russian handcrafted and painted wooden dolls, with smaller dolls stacked within the bigger ones.
While we were in Russia they were for sale everywhere. In fact you can buy them anywhere in the world and are collected by many. I have seen them in Amsterdam and they are also for sale here in Argentina. Are these mass produced in China or genuinely manufactured in Russia? That question I cannot answer.
What does the name “Matryoshka” mean?
Before the revolution the name “Matryona” or “Matriyosha” was a very common female name. It means “mother” and was associated with the image of a mother figure with a large family. She was very healthy and had a fuller figure.
The first Russian doll contained 8 pieces: Mother, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy and the last one a baby in a diaper. They are all different from each other. They have become a symbol of fertility and motherhood.
The Russian doll set now contain 7 pieces.
Sometimes they are referred to as “Matrioshka”, “Matryoshkas”, “Babushka dolls”, “Babushka’s doll”, “Matroshka”, “Matryushka” or stacking dolls. Some people often call theses dolls “Babushka” dolls and this is wrong. The word “Babushka” means grandmother. Contrary to what people believe, this is not a grandmother doll.
Interesting, an Internet survey among 10,000 people have shown the following:
- 51% call “matryoshka” dolls “nesting dolls”;
- 10.5% – “babushka” or “babushka dolls”;
- 9.5% – “matrioshka”;
- 17% – “babooshka”, “matroshka”, “matreshka”, “matryushka”, “stacking doll” or “stackable doll” ;
- 12% know the doll by its proper name – “matryoshka”.
They are really beautiful, unique and they make a lovely gift.