rusoRussian Boxes Nesting Dolls This brightly colored folk art from Russia originated in the late 1800s. The dolls are made from pieces of soft wood and lathe turned for shaping and painting. Each village has its own style. They are traditional gift for infants in the Slavic culture implying fertility, eternal life and timelessness. The sets are often called "Matreshkas" which is an endearing term for the village mother of all children. Originally, all sets included a mother figure.