Matryoshka Culture Clash

4 votes
By Olga | June 5th 2012

After yesterday's finds I kind of got hooked on the Matryoshka topic and went on to explore some further nested doll magic. These pretty little dolls have certainly inspired many - often in unorthodox ways - but as I found out innovation and creativity have been intrinsic qualities to this art form from the origins.  


A Quick Matryoshka Fun Fact:


The largest Matryoshka ever made contains 72 pieces.



Know your Matryoshka History (or skip this part and get to the tasty bits)


Russian craftsmen were renowned lathe operators and for many generation have been happily making their exquisite and often nesting Easter eggs when according to some historians merchant travelers brought the first nesting dolls from Japan at the end of the 19th century.  So no, not as ancient as one would have first thought, which of course does nothing to diminish their charm. Artisans adopted the doll shape and the art form was born. Originally the dolls came in 3, 6 or 8 piece sets and lime or birch trees were used to create them. The doll considered the first depicted a peasant woman. This style of a female doll wearing a traditional folk costume, scarf and apron with some familiar object (basket, handkerchief) in her hand is called the Sergiev Posad Matryoshka style and is still the most familiar to us today. While already well loved in Russia their featuring in 1900 at the Paris World Expedition added to their global popularity.




After the dark days of the Soviet regime in the 1990's under the slogan of Glasnost or openness  a surge of creativity swept through Russia and the nested doll industry. The Gorby Matryoshka depicting Mikhail Gorbachev broke with tradition and became a great success . Political satire has continued to be a popular topic with doll makers to this day.




From Disney to Hello Kitty to President Obama today collectors and enthusiast can pretty much find any kind of Matryoshka they fancy but here are some cool manifestations of the traditional concept that I really liked.  


1. Matryoshka the Ninja


Matryoshka the Ninja

(Available on

2. Matryoshka the Robot

Matryoshka the Robot

(Available on

3. Matryoshka the Rei

Matryoshka the Rei



4. Matryoshka the Red and Wolf but not the Grandma


(From pistacchi-design)


5. Matryoshka the Batman

Matryoshka the Batman



6. Matryoshka the App


Matryoshka the App



7. Matryoshka the Evolution of Mobile Phone

Matryoshka the Mobile Evolution

(From kylebean)


Available here:

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