Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Russian Nesting Dolls

A few years ago, our granddaughter visited and we bought her a plastic wading pool.  It wasn't very big but large enough to splash around in and cool down on a hot summer day.  She used it once.

There are two boys her age who live across the scenic creek with their Russian parents.  The young boys fish in the creek just as my granddaughter's father did when he was a boy.  My son didn't catch any fish then but landed a black turtle.  He ran with the line through the Back Forty Garden and Park to enlist his brother's help of releasing the turtle.  I doubt that the Russian boys catch any fish but they may also land a turtle.  Who knows?

Anyway, we gave the pool to the kids and when we delivered the pool to the boys, their mother motioned us to wait while she went into the house only to come out with a bag with a few trinkets in it as a thank you for the pool.  As it turned out, the bag contained a set of authentic Russian Nesting Dolls.

As an aside to the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, I learned that the nesting dolls are made in different families in different village in Russia during the cold winter months.  It is usually the head of the household who makes the cylindrical wooden dolls and the women in the family paint the dolls.  It is a tradition that is passed down to many generations and each set of the nesting dolls tell a story.

The Martryoshka Dolls as they are called are in decreasing size and placed inside each other.  There are at least five dolls in a set but can be more.  The word "matryoshka" means "little matron".  The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1870.

I am extremely pleased to have a set of nesting dolls for my granddaughter and they tell a story.  She plays with them every time she comes to visit and loses the tiniest of the dolls.  I will keep them in her "treasure box" until she gets old enough to keep them in her own home.  What a treasure!

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