The fact that Russia stands on the margins of both the east and the west has helped to shape its unique culture. Russian culture is largely shaped by its art, food, traditions, literature and of course its handicrafts. The handicrafts are known for their intricate craftsmanship and attention to detail. Such detail to attention and uniqueness is not only reflected in Russian handicrafts but also in Russian art and entertainment. Who can forget the famous Russian ballets and the magical Russian Opera? Russia’s love for literature is known throughout the world. Nikolai Gogol, Tolstoy, Chekov and Brodsky are legendary names in Russia.
Moreover, just as Russians blends eastern and western cultures, the cultural diversity of Russia is blended into its handicrafts and collectible dolls. The popular handicrafts include nesting dolls, Lacquer boxes, amber jewelry, Cheburashka dolls, ceramic figurines, Khokhlomas and the ubiquitous Faberge eggs. Of all these, Russian nesting dolls or Matryoshkas have been recognizable symbols of Russian culture. The first Russian dolls were handmade in the late 1890’s, in the small town of Sergiev Posad. These dolls were inspired by the Japanese art of making Fukuruma figurines.
Today there are thousands of artisans that excel in the art of making these handmade dolls. The dolls too have changed with time. While the earlier versions were replicas of the Russian peasant woman with her large brood, today, these dolls represent everything from cartoon characters, to pop icons and even political figures. Don’t be surprised if you were to find an Obama nesting doll in one of the several Russian souvenir shops in America.
And if aren’t interested in these nesting dolls, there’s plenty of other things to attract the shopper’s attention. Besides nesting dolls, Cheburashkas are also very popular. Designed on the popular animated film character Cheburashka, these dolls are popular collectibles and sought after by people all over the world. In addition, if you are interested in jewelry; try some of the popular amber jewelry, made from Russian Amber. Widely believed to possess healing power, Baltic Amber is famously used in the cosmetics industry.
Thanks to online retails shops that sell Russian handicrafts, you no longer have to travel to Russia to buy these extraordinary gift items. These online retail shops sell everything, right from lacquer boxes and Faberge eggs to even Russian Khokhloma. These gifts are perfect for every occasion from weddings to even birthdays and anniversaries. And what’s even better; you can now arrange for these gifts to be delivered directly, thanks to their gift wrapping service.
But when you’re buying these dolls, make sure you’re buying from an authentic seller. Sadly, handmade dolls like the Matryoshkas are now being made by the Chinese in China, than by Russians. An authentic Russian handicraft is sure to be exemplary with its attention to detail and intricate craftsmanship, as opposed to the factory made look sold by Chinese traders.