Matreshka doll is usually made of linden (lime) tree,
alder (Ольха) or birch tree, because its wood is rather soft. They cut the tree off in early spring and dry it for some years under special conditions in well aired chamber partly taking the bark away. It’s interesting that the process of carving starts with the smallest doll. When all the set is completed they are covered with protecting oil vanish after being dried it is painted with water color (aquarelle), gouache or tempera. Originally Russian dab hands carved wooden Easter eggs with smaller eggs, inside the bigger ones. But in the end of the 19th century Savva Mamontov a well-known merchant of those days (he was constructing railroads, built theatres, gathered collections of interesting items) brought from Japan (Honshu island) a funny wooden doll of a Japanese god of happiness Fucurama with 8 smaller dolls inside. After that Russian handicrafts created a matreshka doll. It was named Matreona, a very popular women’s name originated from the word mother. This doll wore a traditional folk costume and contained several smaller dolls. Now you can find not only female dolls but also males, some can depict stories of Russian fairy-tales, each doll performs one scene from a tale. And even some very popular dolls with the faces of political leaders of our country. The first matreshka was carved in Sergiev Passad a small town of the 14th c with the population approximately 100 thousand people in Moscow area. (It’s in the golden ring of Russia) Here in Irkutsk you can buy name products from local woodcarvers.