Sometime in the late 19th century, Russian artist Sergei Malyutin drew the very first matryoshka character (sometimes spelled matrioshka, matryushka, matreshka, or matriochka), the young maiden who would become synonymous with Russian nesting dolls. Stories of the goddess Jumala, worshipped in the ancient Ugric culture of the Ural Mountains, may have provided inspiration for Malyutin’s character. Jumala was a sort of supreme being or Mother...Continue Reading