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Wander Lord

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Matryoshka – Russian doll

Matryoshka – Russian doll

Matryoshka – Russian doll


The matryoshka is a set of four to eight hollow wooden dolls of graduated size nesting inside each other. It is the most familiar item of Russian folk art.
The rounded female figure was a familiar fertility symbol in pagan Russia. The most ubiquitous matryoshka is the pink-cheeked peasant woman in native sarafan, her head covered with the traditional scarf. However, there are a lot of variations. Nests of dolls with the faces of famous writers, members of artistic circles, military heroes, politicians or members of a family were created.
The first matryoshka – plump cheerful girl in scarf and Russian national dress – was born not in ancient times, as many believe.

The prototype for this doll was the figure of the Buddhist sage Fukuruma, brought to Abramtsevo in the late 19th century from Japan. In the early 1890s, turner Vasily Zvezdochkin made the first Russian matryoshka. Design was created by artist Sergei Malyutin who painted matryoshka. The toy quickly gained fame and earned the people’s love.
In 1900, the Russian dolls came to Paris – they were exhibited at the World Exposition, where they received international recognition and medals. Matryoshka was demonstrated at the annual exhibition in Leipzig. Then it appeared in Berlin and London. A Russian company created a traveling exhibition and show Matryoshka in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. And already in 1911 Russian craftsmen received orders from 14 countries.
Russia’s first Matryoshka Museum was opened in 2001 in Moscow and in 2004 the museum was opened in Nizhny Novgorod. The biggest matryoshka in the museum includes 40 dolls. And the smallest is as small as a grain of rice!
Matryoshka is a very useful for the development of logical thinking in young children, and helps to develop motor skills of hands. The name “Matryoshka” comes from the Russian name Matrona. By the way, the name “matryoshka” was a household name for all women who worked nurses, bringing up other people’s children.
Some of the foreigners called matryoshka “mystery and a symbol of Russia”.
There is a belief that if you put a note with desire inside the dolls, then it will certainly be fulfilled.

Matryoshka – Russian doll