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The symbolism behind the matryoshka doll (Russian doll)

russian dolls

As a child, I was obsessed with matryoshka dolls.

Though back then, I called them ‘Russian dolls’.

I have a vague memory of going into my great auntie’s home and seeing them lined up on shelves.

Though she wasn’t Russian, so perhaps it was another woman who looked like her.

(Our memories can be unreliable).

Someone gifted me a Russian doll – the one pictured – and I treasured it.

Perhaps it was that same woman.

As I grew from child to adult and left home, my parents chucked away most of my old things.

Being quite nostalgic, I found this hard.

But also being a parent myself now, I also understand that you can’t hold onto everything.

Somehow, this set of dolls remained in my parents’ home.

Until one of the grandchildren asked to play with them and they got broken.

I said I’d still like them back and then today, I superglued all the broken pieces back together.

While waiting for the glue to dry, I looked up the symbolism behind Russian dolls and discovered they represent fertility.

According to this website: ‘…the largest doll is considered the matriarch of the family, while the smallest is called the ‘seed’ and represents the soul.’

It goes onto say they’re seen as a ‘representation of a chain of mothers carrying on the family legacy through the child in their womb.’

I just love this.

As a woman with a beloved mother, a grandmother who has passed but was dear to me and now with a daughter of my own, I like the idea of the maternal lineage represented by these dolls.

But I also love the idea that the soul is somehow linked to the as-yet unborn babies/eggs we carry in our wombs.

There is meaning in everything, if you search for it.

Annie x

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