One of the most fabulous things about visiting Moscow was the souvenirs that I saw almost everywhere in the city. The Russian nesting dolls are very popular and I came across the most beautiful ones that I have ever seen. There are various types of dolls and they all have such interesting history behind them.
The Russian word for these wooden dolls is matryoshka. The most traditional nesting doll design is the one that looks like a young Russian woman dressed in Russian traditional costume with a headscarf and rosy cheeks. The nesting dolls are wooden painted dolls that come in unique styles and different sizes with one doll inside the other. Some are very simple and inexpensive and there are those that are intricately detailed and they often fetch a higher price. Some of the earliest versions had images of fairy tales, flower themes, war images, and also political leaders as well. I've seen some with American Presidents too.
The ones sold in the malls are a lot more expensive but of better quality.
Here is an example of how they come apart. Some doll sets contain identical dolls, others have individual dolls painted with different facial expressions or in different colours or costumes.
I bought a few sets of these unique dolls when I went to Moscow and gave them as souvenirs to my family. My daughter enjoys taking them apart, reassemble them separately and putting them back together.
Meet some of my dolls. They are proud additions to my vacation mementos display.