Kidsday reporter Emily Carroll in a traditional costume with her...

Kidsday reporter Emily Carroll in a traditional costume with her nesting dolls. Credit: Carroll family

What is a stackable wooden doll that originated in Russia called? If you guessed a nesting doll, or in Russian, a matryoshka, you are correct. Nesting dolls are interesting things to collect because there is always a surprise inside. Nesting dolls range from 3 dolls to 30 dolls.

The name matryoshka came from the female name matryona or matriyosha which was derived from the Latin root “mater,” meaning mother. The nesting doll represents a mother of a big family.

The traditional nesting doll design looks like a young Russian woman dressed in a native Russian costume with a scarf on her head (quite similar to my outfit in the photo). Traditional nesting dolls have nearly identical sets.

Nowadays, people have put a modern twist on the traditional nesting doll. There are nesting dolls about politics, cartoons, religion and even blank nesting dolls for you to customize yourself. From traditional dolls to dolls you customize, nesting dolls are collectibles that people of all ages can enjoy.