“She shouted out – I’m all yours – Babooshka…”

matryoshka setHad it wrong – all this time. Yep, must confess, that I had my terminology wrong and now stand to be corrected. This set of nested dolls are NOT babooshka (or Babushka) dolls BUT matryoshka dolls. So then why does a whole shop dedicated to these, which is in one of our finest shopping arcades, call itself Babooshka? (wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong).

  • A matryoshka doll, also known as Russian nesting/nested doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about its history.
  • They are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “babushka dolls”.
  • The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo.
  • Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a long and shapeless traditional Russian peasant jumper dress.
  • The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood.
  • Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate.
  • The dolls often follow a theme, aside from the typical traditional peasant girls, the themes vary, from fairy tale characters to Soviet leaders.
  • The word “matryoshka” (матрёшка), literally “little matron”, is a diminutive form of the Russian female first name “Matryona” (Матрёна).
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