|How cute is this bag by Overthegardenwall? You can see (& buy) it here|
|I need a new keyring - & these ones look like just the thing - especially the red ones!|
|I'm doing lots of sewing at the moment & this fabric is just so sweet!|
Beautifulwork has lots of other matrioshka fabric designs too...
I thought as a quick finish to this week's shout out I would give a bit of a background to Matrioshka dolls...
The first Matrioshka doll as we know it was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and had 8 dolls - the outer one being a woman in traditional peasant dress, with girls and a boy inside. Like today's dolls, the innermost one was a baby carved from a single piece of wood. Nowadays they are usually female throughout but originally it was only the outer one that was female - the inner dolls could be either male or female.
There is some dispute as to how the original nesting doll came about; the idea for a doll probably came from a similar design from Honshu, Japan, but Russians had been making Easter Eggs with the nesting idea before the doll idea came about. So whether it is a Japanese or Russian invention is up for debate. What is certain though is that Russian Dolls took off quickly and are now the most well-known Russian souvenir. Traditionally they have either 8 or 5 pieces but I have one that is 11 pieces - the smallest one is smaller than a grain of rice and is beautifully ornate.
The name Matrioshka is an amalgamation of the name Matryona / Matriosha which was quite a popular name among the serfs during the late 1800s. It conjures images of motherhood being also related to the word mat' meaning mother and mater (Latin). As the outermost doll is usually a woman and it tends to be a microcosm of a family, Matriosha seems fitting - the 'ka' at the end is a diminutive: in Russian my name is Sasha but I'm known as Sashinka = little Sasha (term of endearment).
Nowadays you can get all sorts of different Matrioshka dolls as tourist souvenirs - I've had one with different presidents of Russia and I bought my sister a Leornardo diCaprio one with 5 dolls featuring his different looks in different films! Lenin is a popular version as well...
So there you have it: a very short background to Russian Dolls. By the way, they are apparently also known as Babushka dolls. I've never heard a Russian say that about them - Babushka means Grandmother and it doesn't really apply.