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Asian Geographic - - BEST OF ART -

800–1100 ad

In 800–1100 AD, the art of origami was in­tro­duced to the West, namely Spain, by the Moors, who in­vaded that coun­try in the eighth cen­tury. The Moors were un­able to cre­ate origami an­i­mal forms be­cause their re­li­gion pro­hib­ited them from do­ing so. Thus, they folded geo­met­ric origami mod­els. From Spain, origami spread to South Amer­ica. As trade routes de­vel­oped, origami was then in­tro­duced to Europe un­til it fi­nally reached the US.


The ear­li­est ev­i­dence of pa­per fold­ing in Europe was a cut and folded pa­per box from 1440 and a pic­ture of a small pa­per boat in Trac­ta­tus de sphaera mundi in 1490. For cen­turies, there were no writ­ten directions for fold­ing origami mod­els; tech­niques were taught to each gen­er­a­tion and then passed down to the next. The art form soon be­came a cul­tural her­itage of the Ja­panese.


In 1845, a book ti­tled Kan no mado (“Win­dow on Mid­win­ter”) was pub­lished that in­cluded a col­lec­tion of in­struc­tions on how to fold 150 dif­fer­ent origami mod­els. Among these mod­els was the frog, which has also be­come a pop­u­lar icon in origami art.

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