A set of matryoshkas consists of a wooden figure, which separates, top from bottom, to reveal a smaller figure of the same sort inside, which has, in turn, another figure inside of it, and so on.
The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo. Traditionally the outer layer is a woman, dressed in a sarafan, a traditional Russian peasant jumper dress. The figures inside may be of either gender; the smallest, innermost doll is typically a baby turned from a single piece of wood. Much of the artistry is in the painting of each doll, which can be very elaborate.
Watch more counting videos and more Sesame Street videos on this site, including Sesame Street’s Mad Painter paints the number 7, Number Twelve Rocks, The 30 Dots Collection, and School House Rock’s Counting by Fives.