January 31, 2011

M is for Matryoshka

History Lesson of the Russian nesting dolls
  • Russian nesting doll (synonyms - nested doll, stacking doll) or matryoshka as it is sounded in Russian - probably, the most popular Russian national souvenir.
  • The first Russian nesting doll (matryoshka) was born in 1890 in the workshop "Children's Education" situated in Abramtsevo estate new Moscow.
  • The  attention to detail and creative skill of the Matryoshka artists will amaze you.
Why it is called "matryoshka"
 In old Russian among peasants the name Matryona or Matriosha was a very popular female name. Scholars says this name has a Latin root "mater" and means "Mother". This name was associated with the image of of a mother of a big peasant family who was very healthy and had a portly figure.
Subsequently, it became a symbolic name and was used specially to image brightly painted wooden figurines made in a such way that they could taken apart to reveal smaller dolls fitting inside one another. This symbolizes the hope and value of life and the family; the heart an soul of Russian people.  source

  • Matryoshka dolls have been popping up everywhere from actual dolls to prints and patterns on jewelery, fabrics, clothing, kitchen utensils, cups, plates etc.. 
  • These are some of my favorites!


Anna said...

I own a couple of these "families".
It was fun to read some of the history.

found and sewn said...

great post!

Irina said...

lovely post! just followed you, followme back!

S and O said...

What gorgeous little finds :)
I think the matryoshka dolls are just so charming!

Julia [Mrs. Globetrot] said...

These are so charming. Thanks for the useful info on their history. I love that they are printed these days. I have a bed sheet from UO covered with colorful matryoshkas and I love it. Reminds me of my mom.

danielle said...

us, too. I started collected them wwhen I was young afetr my Gran gave me one of heres. my 2 daughters now are matryoshka crazy and everytime we're in the States at a thrift store or antique store they are on the hunt for them.

Thanks for stopping by and saying hi- your blog is lovely!!!

Dear Darling,, said...

I have those measuring cups! Also got measuring spoons. They are soo adorable! :)