Asian Geographic

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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.

1400s

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.

1845

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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