Matryoshka doll has always been part of my life. I grew up in the former USSR in Minsk (republic of Belarus). My family was quite poor and my brother and I were not spoiled with anything like toys and treats. But I had MATRYOSHKAS! The wooden nesting dolls were a traditional toy/souvenir and I guess not expensive. Matryoshka dolls were always handmade, and therefore always unique. I adored the bright colors and decoration of their traditional clothing, the stylized faces smiling inviting. Oh, and the smell of wood and paint! But best of all, inside each doll was another smaller one. One could play endlessly!
I just LOVED Matryoshkas. I had at least a dozen of them all mismatched with chipped paint, some cracked. But the smell of wood and paint on them never went away. My aunt who worked in a day care center brought me two old wooden toy armoires that the daycare center was throwing out. The armoires had two sliding doors each and were painted simply light green and blue. The doors had a small round hole for a little finger to fit and to slide the doors left or right. I was delighted! My Matryoshka army lived in these two armoires. I played with them for hours. There also was a toy store in Minsk called "MATRYOSHKA". It was quite far from where we lived, but my Mom would take me there when we were in the neighborhood and buy a new wooden doll for me. The smaller the better, so it would fit into my small fist. And on the way home, in the public bus, I would hold it very tight, so I would not lose it. And the smell, the aroma of a new Matryoshka! I think these were my happiest hours.
I am still mad about Matryoshkas. And I would like to share some very nice different versions, done by various artists and crafters. I hope you like them too.

1.By AmyGaines

2.By Loriotndorr

3.By Benben

4.By Handmadewithjoy
5.By Carneen

6.By Rohmer

7.By Loriotndorr

8.By Stickytiki

9.By Homecraftscatalog
3 Responses
  1. I love them too - I have a small collection of them. One is really old with Russian on the bottom. Cannot read it, but maybel I will take a picture and send it to you, maybe you can read it. Thanks for sharing these lovelies!!

  2. I would love to translate for you what it is written on the bottom of your dolly! I actually have just one Matryoshka set. I think there are 10 of them in this set. It is signed by the artist. They have ancient fairy tale scenes painted on their fronts. In fact they are so special and detailed; they might be one of a kind. I shell make a picture of them and post it here.

  3. thanks so much for including me in this super post! i love these dollies!