Matryoshka (Russian nesting dolls) is a relatively modern form of folk art which began in the nineteenth century. The word “Matryoshka” means “mother”, and the dolls symbolize motherhood and fertility. A set of the dolls was exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900, where it attracted worldwide attention and a new industry was born, with many regional centres producing different styles of Matryoshka. Today Matryoshka may be decorated in traditional Russian painting styles and themes, or in a more modern decorative style. The dolls have found new homes all over the world.