What is mamushka?

What Does mamushka Mean

The Mamushkas are dolls traditional in Russia , whose origins date back to the end of the nineteenth century. It is a hollow figure that, inside, has another smaller doll , which in turn houses a smaller one and so on.

It is important to note that the concept of mamushka is used in several countries of Latin America , although the Russians call these dolls otherwise: matrioshkas . The why of both denominations can be traced in the language of the nation of the tsars.
Matrioshka comes from Matriona (or Madrona , in Spanish), a common name in ancient Russia . The etymology of Matriona is linked to a "family mother" ; That is why the Russians related that name to the image of a stout peasant mother and over time it became a symbolic name. The matrioshkas, in this way, would represent different generations of women.

The notion of mamushka, meanwhile, is a combination of Matriona and bábushka , a word whose translation is “grandmother” . It could be understood, in this framework, that a collection of mamushkas is formed with grandmothers and mothers together with the rest of the descendants of a family .
In recent decades, already positioned as the typical souvenir that tourists acquire when visiting Russia , mammushkas have been diversifying in terms of materials and characteristics. There are mamushkas of personalities, of fictional characters and of family groups with their pets, for example.
Although the origin of the mamushkas is not known with certainty, the oldest dates from the 1890s and it is believed that they may be inspired by similar dolls that were made in Japan. Even if this were true, in Russia there were already other handicraft products that were based on a similar system, which consisted of keeping one inside the other, such as Easter eggs and apples.
Some evidence suggests that its creator was a painter named Sergei Maliutin , who had a workshop north of Moscow. According to this version, a patron who worked with him brought a set of Japanese dolls that consisted of the image of the god Fukurokuju that inside carried those of the seven gods of fortune.
His fascination with the game was such that he drew it in his own style. Its design was carved and painted by Vasili Zviozdochkin and Sergiyev Posad, respectively. In this case there were eight dolls: the oldest was a girl; the youngest, a baby; the rest, an alternating series of boys and girls.
A few years later, the patron's wife presented the new creation at the Universal Exhibition in Paris , where she received a bronze medal. After this success, its diffusion began and in a short time new versions began to appear.

At the time of the economic reform known as Perestroika , a variety of mamushkas emerged with the image of the different leaders of the Soviet Union. The oldest represented Mikhail Gorbachev, followed by Leonid Brezhnev, Nikita Khrushchev, Joseph Stalin and, lastly, Vladimir Lenin. There are two names absent from this list because their terms did not last long: Yuri Andrópov and Konstantín Chernenko.
Mamushkas are generally made of wood. The most common is linden, since it is very light and its texture is very fine. Trees destined for this task are cut down in April to take advantage of their large volume of sap. After the wood is cut , it is processed for a minimum of two years before continuing.
In Argentina , finally, Mamushka is a brand of chocolates founded in 1989 in the city of Bariloche . Over the years, its manufacturers began to make other products as well, such as ice cream and cakes (cakes or pastries).

Go up