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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > December 2018 > THE SECRET HISTORY OF Matryoshka Dolls


How nested dolls emigrated from China through Japan to Russia

NESTED MATRYOSHKA DOLLS ARE popularly considered to be as Russian as croissants are French, clogs are Dutch or stiff upper lips are English. In fact, these enigmatic little artworks have quite an international background. The original idea for nested objects was born in China during the Song Dynasty (960 AD–1279 AD). Carpenters made boxes inside boxes, to symbolise ingenuity. Eight-hundred years later, the boxes had evolved into dolls – the smallest of which was so diddly it held just one grain of rice. The dolls migrated to Japan, where they were used to depict the Japanese Seven Lucky Gods.

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the December issue… find out which countries, cities, regions and individual attractions made it onto Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2019 list; read more in depth on some of the winning destinations, including the northern regions of Sri Lanka far from the tourist trail, Copenhagen with its ongoing dining revolution, and the North Coast 500 road around some of the wildest corners of the Scottish Highlands; add in a short break to Estonia's winter-perfect capital Tallinn; and much more