Matryoshka tattoo meaning and symbolism

Matrõshka or Russian nesting dolls is a set of wooden dolls, each of which can be removed from its predecessor to reveal another doll that appears identical. A matryoshka doll is a figure depicting a very young girl, wearing a traditional Russian dress with a pleated skirt, a belt, and a headscarf.

There often are differences in the faces of different matryoshka dolls, even though they may look very similar to each other. The person who chose this design for their tattoo likely wanted to express their love for Russia or maybe just visited it at some point. The tattoo is usually made in color with flowers, various symbols, and patterns of the Russian culture around it. It can also be given to someone who has some close tie to Russia.

As tattooblend stated in their article :

Matryoshka means “little mother,” and the dolls inside represent her children.

People choose this tattoo design for different reasons. Someone might feel very emotional about their trip to Russia or had an amazing time there with friends or family members. That’s why they decided to commemorate this time in their life with a beautiful tattoo.

matryoshka arm tatto
Matryoshka arm tatto @ania_bodz


Other meanings behind matryoshka tattoos

Another reason for getting this tattoo is the symbolism of traditional Russian dolls. They are often seen as a learning tool for young girls, mostly by their mothers who teach them how to behave in certain social situations.

There are also different versions of this tattoo, depicting a girl by herself, with her family members or maybe even with the Mother Russia. Their meaning is very similar – each doll represents some stage in women’s life and helps her to realize that she is worth more than just being pretty.

As found in a bodyartguru article , Matryoshka tattoos can symbolize life aswell

The dolls are a clear representation of life as well. As we unfurl the dolls, each smaller doll represents memories, past experiences and the lessons that we learned through them. As we reach the core, we realize that we have grown up to be more mature than who we were before and hence, the smallest doll represents our wisdom  _bodyartguru

Matryoshka tattoo design ideas

Matryoshka tattoos are usually done in blackwork

Matryoshka tattoos can be added to any part of the body, depending on the size and design chosen. Traditionally though, they are given on the back or the hip. There are no rules as to where you can place it, what’s important is that its design isn’t compromised by the pose you take.

The size also plays a role in tattoos, since bigger tattoos require more time and effort from both the artist and the client. It might be a bit frustrating for someone with a standard-size tattoo to have a matryoshka within the design, but this rule doesn’t apply when it comes to smaller tattoos.

There are several options as for what your tattoo might look like. The first one is a girl alone with all of her dolls around her and some flowers or other symbols that refer to Russia on each doll’s dress.

Multiple Matryoshka tattoos
Multiple Matryoshka tattoos @qzlleeee

Another option is to put all of the dolls inside, so they can be seen only by opening up each of the previous ones. This way, there might be even more than one girl depicted on your tattoo, depending on how many dolls are shown. Some might even put themselves in one doll and their family members in the others; usually the order of the dolls represents an order in their family, with the youngest one on top.

What would be very cool is to have a tattoo that features both of these styles – each doll can be opened up if you want to see another one inside it. This way, your matryoshka will show different stages of someone’s life instead of just one girl.

Another interesting idea is to put a quote inside the doll, saying something about women and their strength or importance in this world. It might sound like a cliché when looking at it from afar, but when you find out what’s behind each doll, your matryoshka tattoo will become very meaningful and special for you.

Matryoshka tattoos mostly feature girls, but this doesn’t mean you can only get your tattoo with a girl on it. There are tattoo designs featuring women, couples, and even men. Each person is unique in their appearance and has different meanings behind them. One of the best ways to choose which design you want for your matryoshka tattoo is to look at the original doll and think about what reminds you most of it – maybe flowers, shapes or colors.