Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gift of Russian Nesting Dolls

Wanda Aikens, Executive Director of the Ward 7 Arts Collaborative, gave me this set of Russian Nesting Dolls! Aren't they cute. I was told I have to complete the smaller babies with my own creativity.

By the way I found this awesome site http://www.yournestingdolls.com/ where you can purchase Russian Nesting Dolls. The site provided an interesting background to what these dolls are all about. I was intrigued by their history and meaning.

According to their site:

" Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nesting dolls or Babushka dolls, consist of wooden doll figures which can be pulled apart to reveal another similar figure inside, and another, and so on. The Russian stacking dolls usually come in groups of five or more. Other words that describe matryoshka's are the stacking doll or Babushka doll. There are several styles of design for the Russian matryoshka doll. They are: Sergiyev Posad, Semionovo or Semyonov, Polkholvsky Maidan, and Kirov."

"Matryoskha's can be from any subject matter such as; Fairy Tales (usually from Russian folklore), Animals, or People of all sorts. We also showcase subjects such as Religious Icons, Holiday Icons and also a few famous Lighthouses are showcased on this site. The majority of the Matryoskha's are exquisitely hand-painted (lead-free) at the Golden Cockerel art studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. "

"The first nesting doll dates back to approximately 1890. Vasiliy Zvezdochkin craved it in a toy workshop in Sergiyev Posad and it was painted by Sergei Maliutin. There were eight dolls in the set with the outermost doll being a girl. The dolls alternated between boy and girl, with the innermost doll being a baby. "

This was an education for me because I used to see them on Sesame Street when I was a child stacking and unstacking each other. Every time I see a set it reminds me of that Sesame Street segment. Don't act like you don't remember that segment? LOL!