Photo du Jour #58: Meeting of the Matrioshki – Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

cluster of Matryoshkas dolls for sale - Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Matryoshka dolls await buyers at a market in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. The first set of such wooden nesting dolls was made in the late 1890s. The word matryoshka or матрёшка means ‘little maiden’ in Russian.

The designs of the delightful dolls featured above are pretty traditional, however, in countries such as the Czech Republic, Russia and even Bosnia-Herzegovina, politicians’ faces and those of famous athletes are appearing on such figures.

What unique faces have you encountered on matryoshka dolls during your travels?

20 thoughts on “Photo du Jour #58: Meeting of the Matrioshki – Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina

    1. I bet it was much appreciated, Mark. I’m a charm bracelet fan, and of course had to get a little silver matrioshka for my bracelet to represent Russia following our visit to St. Petersburg.

      Did you make it to Peterhof?

      1. Sounds like your schedule was short like ours. We only had time to explore a bit of the downtown and to see Peterhof. I imagine that the Hermitage must have been extraordinary?

    1. I agree that they’re delightful, Virginia. When we were in St. Petersburg, Russia last summer, I was delighted to see a cement truck’s twirling drum painted like a matrioshka! Alas, we were stuck in traffic and I couldn’t get a good snap.

    1. Marina, I didn’t buy one in Mostar, but two of the sets I have go back to my childhood (and have the USSR paper labels pasted on their bottoms). It’s funny to see how the designs have really evolved – from more traditional designs to modern concepts. In St. Petersburg, we saw politicians’ and sports stars’ faces emblazoned on the figures. One in Prague depicting President Clinton had an entire cast of female characters as nesting dolls, leading up to a tiny saxophone doll.

      Was your dollhouse filled with matrioshki when you were growing up? :)

      1. Yes, my mum has some beautifully painted dolls and they may be mass produced these days, but you can find some good ones. My sisters and I each have a beautiful matryoshka doll. I bought a Pittsburgh Steelers matryoshka doll for my pen pal in… Pittsburgh! he loved it!

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