Art Word: Origami

All of us are probably familiar with the meaning of origami – the art of paper folding. There’re various versions about its origins. But one thing is for sure – this art developed mainly in Japan. Origami had became a significant part of Japanese ceremonies by the beginning of Heian period. Samurais used to exchange gifts decorated with nosi – a kind of symbols of good luck, made of paper stripes. Butterflies folded  from paper were used during Shinto weddings, representing a bride and a groom.

However, independent traditions of paper filding, though not so well-developed as in Japan, existed in Chiina, korea, Germany and Spain. European samples are less documented than eastern ones, but it’s known that technology of paper production was adopted by Arabs around the 8th cent. AD; moors brought paper to Spain around the 11th century. Since that time local versions of origami developed in Spain and Germany (since the 15th cent.). As well as in Japan, in Europe paper folding was a part of ceremonies. For instance, in Central Europe in the 17th-18th century they used to fold the baptismal certificate in a special way. By the 17th cent. there was a range of common models in Europe: Spanish Pajarita (bird), hats, boats and huts. At the beginning of the 19th cent, Friedrich Fröbel, a German pedagogue, contributed a lot into the flourishing of this art, suggesting it to be a part of the educational process in kindergartens to develop fine motor skills.

In 1960s Akira Yoshizawa, the grandmaster of origami, published his books with diagrams of paper models, this art started spreading all over the world.
At the beginning of 2015, origami enthusiast Cristian Marianciuc challenged himself to create a new origami crane daily for 365 days. Look at some of them.

 

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