Legend of the Russian Stacking Dolls Illustration

Russian Nesting Dolls
Happy Together

Some say the creation of the Russian nesting doll began in Japan. But there is another tale that we share here. Russian nesting dolls were first created in the late 1800's by a Russian man named Murmantov.

The idea for the dolls was based on an old Russian nursery tale. That old tale went something like this . . .

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a very little girl named Oksana who loved to run down the mountain. But she never went alone. Oksana always took one of her sisters with her. There were wolves on the mountain.

One day, all the women in her family were busy making brightly colored scarves to wear in the coming festival. Oksana's big sister had lovingly made a very small scarf, just the right size for Oksana.

"There you go, my little sister," smiled Oksana's biggest sister as she tied Oksana's new scarf under her chin.

Oksana was very happy. She gave her biggest sister a hug of thanks and danced outside. Oksana swirled and twirled and spun around.

"Stay close to the house," her mother called absently through the open door of the house.

"Yes, mother," Oksana said obediently. The ties of her scarf danced in the breeze. It was such a lovely day. Swirling and twirling, she moved farther and farther away from home without even noticing.

Inside the house, her middle sister stood up and stretched. She leaned out the window to take a deep breath of clean mountain air. Way in the distance, she could see a colorful speck swirling and twirling in the breeze. Her eyes narrowed. What was it? Could it be? Oh no!

Shouting to her mother and grandmother and sisters, Oksana's middle sister flew down the mountain. Her sisters ran quickly behind her. Her mother ran swiftly behind them. Her grandmother forgot her aches and pains and ran panting behind them. When they all reached little Oksana, they hugged her tightly.

Oksana's eyes widened nervously when she realized how very far away from home she had wandered. If not for the love of her family, she would have been all alone on the mountain. If the wolves had noticed, well, better not to think about the wolves.

Oksana and her sisters and her mother and her grandmother all walked up the mountain, happy together.

Happy Together