They’re made of lime wood and crafted in a way to allow one to fit inside the other. I imagine lots of wasted wood on the floor as the excess wood is hollowed out. Here’s a good video on how Russians make them.
Or, if you will, Nesting Dolls. They’re really just decorative dolls.
They hide inside each other, waiting to be opened and displayed. We keep a large stash of them for gifts for guests.
I listened to a preacher friend reference them one of his sermons recently. He was going along and making some point and forgot the Russian word and just called them nesting dolls. I was a little disappointed.
For the record they’re called, a “Matryoshka.” (Ignore the British pronunciation in the youtube video.)
Frankly, I was confused as to why he couldn’t remember the word, “Matryoshka.”
It’s pronounced just like it’s written.
(That’s supposed to be funny right there.)
It’s almost as bad as the word, zdravstvujtye (Здра́вствуйте), which is a formal way of saying hello in Russian.
Who doesn’t love a language that’s comfortable with 6 to 10 consonants in a row – with not a vowel in sight?
I married a Russian. At our wedding, we a bunch of matryoshkas on the sign-in table. And apparently, some people don’t like matryoshkas. One girl wasn’t happy with what she thought they represented – children. I don’t know why.
“They represent children. Right!”
Her face turned red. I ignored her, having lots of other things on mind that day.
I certainly couldn’t think as to why that would have been a bad thing.
For the record, I like them.
And for the two little girls who would later join our family, they look nothing like their representative nesting doll.
But they both can pronounce them correctly.