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How to Make Origami

Origami is an ancient Japanese tradition that derives its name for the two words "oru" for fold, and "kami" for paper. But historic records show that origami in its first use, was not the art form we know today, but rather a method of folding official documents in such a way that they could not be duplicated. Items such as gifts accompanied by papers verifying their authenticity, or otherwise declaring their ownership, were referred to as "origami tsuki".

The most famous origami figure known, is the crane, a frequent figure in Japanese lore, representing good health. For many centuries, the legend prevailed that a thousand origami cranes would cure someone who was ill. Over the years, origami has grown to encompass not only traditional Japanese figures of nature, but such things as people, buildings, and even interconnected multiple cranes made from a single piece of uncut paper.

Origami can be made out of virtually any paper, although it should be stiff enough to hold the folds and not droop. Depending on what you are making, you may start out with various shapes of paper, folding it only a few times, or repeatedly to achieve the form you want.

To make a simple origami dog, take a square of paper. Fold across the middle so two opposite corners meet and you have a triangle, with the top pointing down. Fold the left corner over to the right corner and open it back up. Next, fold the left and right corners down, from the centerfold. There is a point at the top now. Take that and bend it back, and bend back the point at the bottom. You have a dog's head with the two corners as its ears, and ready to draw on a face!