| is the name of
the Island version of the Matryoshka as Russia continues to maintain it's
presence as part of the cultural melting pot of the Hawaiian Islands. The
word in both Russian and Hawaiian translates
as "beloved" and the Hawaiian word "MILIMILI" means
a favorite "plaything" or "toy".
is also used as a derivative of Mili'apa (slowing down or playing around).
This name has become popular not only in Hawaii, but also in other States
and countries, as people keep bringing Hawaiian Milimili Dolls from their
vacation in Hawaiian Paradise.
||The Russian Doll
(hand-painted wooden dolls nestled or fitting
inside one another) is a symbol of Russian Folk Art and is a favorite
of young and old alike. In the 19th century, Matryona was a common female
name derived from the Latin root "mater" or mother. This is why
traditionally the dolls were painted like women and every one is like a
mother that has a baby inside.
|Matroyoshka Dolls bring to mind images of motherhood, fertility
and well being. They say that initially the doll was purportedly first fashioned
on the Island of Honshu after a Japanese doll showing a sage by the name
of . Some Japanese have claimed that
a Russian Monk created this first doll. In Russia the first dolls were made
in the town Sergiev-Posad, former Zagorsk, which is not far from Moscow,
and is exposed in the local museum.
There are practically hundreds of villages where Matrioshka
dolls have been made for generations. There are a number of villages that are
known for their traditional designs. Here are some of them: Pereslavl, Maiden,
Kirov, Brest, Semionov.
Certainly Russian craftsman have been making Matryoshka Dolls for many hundreds
of years, at least back to the mid 1700s. These dolls carry a rich tradition
and will turn into family heirlooms.
||In Russia in the 1890s, when a group of artists was reviving
native culture and folk traditions, one of them, Sergei Malyutin, designed
the set of Russian nesting dolls, the largest, a peasant girl with a babushka
(kerchief) on her head.
In the year 1900 the Russian "Matreshka" was awarded a medal
at the Paris Exhibition of Applied Arts. Since then this lovely and entertaining
art form has continued to win awards (and hearts) world wide.
||Every set is hand-carved
and hand-painted. Lime trees, known for its flowers from which honey
with healing properties is obtained, are used to make Matryoshkas. The trees
are cut in the early spring, stripped of their bark and dried in the open
air for several years until the wood is ready. The logs are then cut and
prepared for Matryoshkas. The whole set has to be made out of the same chunk
of wood. That condition is a must and insures that every piece will react
in the same fashion to changing temperature and climate conditions. Turning
operations rely on intuition and great skill rather than exact measurements.
After the hand-turning work is done, the dolls are cleaned, primed with
starchy glue, polished and painted to depict a Russian image or story and
set out to dry. After a few days, the dolls are given several coats of lacquer
to give the dolls their brilliant shine.
||Besides the traditional designs, the collectible Matrioshka
dolls depict scenes from fairy tales,
Russian churches an architecture of the cities and towns, life scenes of
the people, political leaders, sports, animals, other arts.
||Nesting dolls are made in many countries now, including
India, Poland, Japan, and China, but the Russian matryoshkas are still the
best known. Now they are depicted with many national designs.
Take home a Milimili Doll for your favorite person to