Origins of paper folding in Argentina

The history of paperfolding

Origins of paper folding in Argentina

Postby Joan Sallas » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:41 pm

With permission of Laura Azcoaga, vice-president of the Asociación Argentina de Origami , I show you here the pictures of the re-discovered anonym document "Trabajo manual educativo. Plegado", published probably in the 1940s in Buenos Aires by the Editorial Della Penna.

The original document was founded by Andrea Hernández, teacher participant in the origami workshops of Laura Azcoaga in the University National of Gral. Sarmiento, in Argentina. Andrea Hernández received it from her mother.

Gershon Legman mentioned this document in his "Bibliography od Paper-Folding" (1952). The document was edited/printed almost two times, one with red diagrams, and the other with green diagrams. It's a witness more of the pedagogical Argentinian folding tradition that started at the end of 19th century.

A hypothese is that Araminta V. Aramburo perhaps was the real author of this document. She published 1939 a book with the same title as the published by Della Penna : “Trabajo manual educativo” (Buenos Aires: F. Crespillo). Araminta V. Aramburo (sometimes Aramburu written) was mentioned by the bibliographies by Vicente Solórzano in "Papirolas. 3er Manual" (Buenos Aires: Colegio Alsina y Bolívar, 1940) and by G. Legmans "Bibliography" too. But that is only a suposition that must be contrasted.

The founded document content 29 of the original complet 30 tables, which are selfbounded in a portfolio. An original copy of the missing table (Nr. 26) was recently luckly founded and acquired for the Padore-Livrary/Archive (in the edition with green diagrams). It represent three models: "estrella simple abierta", "estrella de seis puntas" and "roseta exagonal" [sic]. When it will be received, it will uploaded in this forum to show the complete collection of tables.

Apart of the clean diagramms (for this time), it's interesting to observe that not all the models are "well known".

joan sallas

Table 1:
- Obtención de un cuadrado por plegado de un papel regular
- Red de cuadrados
Table 2:
- Serie de plegados partiendo del cuadrado: Libro, Pañuelito, Bonete, Servilleta
Table 3:
- Obtención de un triángulo equilátero
Table 4:
- Letras
Table 5:
- Trabajos preliminares
- Guardas grecas
- Entrelazados
Table 6:
- Construcción de un pentágono regular
- Construcción de un exágono [sic] regular
Table 7:
- Barquito de vela
- Casita
- Sobre
- Vasito
Table 8:
- Mantel de cuatro puntas
- Molinete
- Roseta cuadrada simple
Table 9:
- Repisa rinconera
- Marco
- Tarjetero
Table 10:
- Pajarita
- Canastilla
Table 11:
- Montera sencilla
- Mitra persa
- Mitra o gorro sacerdotal
Table 12:
- Relojera
- Barquito
- Hamaca cuna o góndola
Table 13:
- Petaca
- Sobre para recortes
Table 14:
- Billetera con dos compartimentos
- Pistola de dos tiros
Table 15:
- Florerito de pared
- Cajita para estampillas
Table 16:
- Sillita para muñecas
- Sofa y cama para muñeca
Table 17:
- Piramide soplada
- Roseta romboidal abierta
Table 18:
- Cubo
- Cubo solplado
Table 19:
- Farolito japonés
- Bombonera japonesa
Table 20:
- Cajita con asas
- Cajita sin asas con envolturas
Table 21:
- Chalana
- Piragua
Table 22:
- Canoa con fondo
Table 23:
- Pajarita que vuela
- Bajorrelieve
Table 24:
- Roseta triangular compuesta
- Roseta romboidal
- Pez
Table 25:
- Mesa triangular
- Roseta simple cerrada
Table 26:
- Estrella simple abierta
- Estrella de seis puntas
- Roseta exagonal [sic]
Table 27:
- Medio cubo
- Repisa rinconera
Table 28:
- Bandeja con resurgido interior
Table 29:
- Polvera
Table 30:
- Avión
plegado 21 - libro.jpg
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Joan Sallas
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Leuna, Germany

Re: Origins of paper folding in Argentina

Postby Laura Rozenberg » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:31 pm

Juan Gimeno brought to my attention Joan Sallas' post here.
I have a couple of comments: I had the pleasure to be at one of the meetings in Buenos Aires -these type of informal meetings for paperfolders- that take place every month in a cafe called La Academia, organized by Asociación Argentina de Origami.
On that meeting, Laura Azcoaga passed the bound book among the attendants, and we were all in awe. She told us how she happened to have the document and that she would make scans and then return it to the owner.
So it is with great pleasure to see that the scans are made public and available for us to enjoy.
What I'd like to add is what exactly is this document. It is not a book or loosy sheets. Each sheet was part of what we called in Argentina "repuestos". When we were young and went to school in the 50s and 60s, we wrote in "cuadernos" (cahiers in French, I guess the closest translation in English is notebook), or instead we could create "carpetas" with "hojas" (folders with sheets). These sheets were either blank or lined. There were also pentagrammed sheets, and logaritmic sheets. Each bunch of sheets (usually a dozen) were sold together as "repuestos" (stack of sheets). The main brands were Repuestos Rivadavia, Repuestos Laprida, and Repuestos Della Penna (Della Penna was the oldest brand).
For educational purposes, each "repuesto" (bunch of sheets) had an additonal front page with something "useful". It could be a map, drawings of animals, etc. So the sheets that were collected in the volume found by Laura Azcoaga's student are those very front pages collected, one by one, by a person who evidently enjoyed them.
You can see that they were loose sheets because they have the three holes in the left margin to put them in a binder.
Every time Della Penna would release a new design (and that could happen often or once in a while, one had to be alert), this person would have to go to the "librería" (stationary store) and buy the "repuesto".
For this person, I can imagine her (or his) joy when a new design sheet would come out. It was like today's cards, children collect them. Well, it was the same thing then.
If something is not enough clear, please let me know.
Laura Rozenberg
Laura Rozenberg
Laura Rozenberg
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:58 pm

Origins of paper folding in Argentina

Postby Joan Sallas » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:16 am


revised the 31th July 2012

One of the first known informations about the origin of teaching and folding art in Argentina are in the first edition of “El trabajo manual en las escuelas primarias” (Madrid: Editorial “El Magisterio Español”, 1902), of Ezequiel Solana [1863-1931].

In this book Solana explained that Argentina, toghether with Chile, was one of the first countries that during the last quarter of the 19th century sended government commissioners to the most advanced schools in Europe (Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Italy and specially to Sweden), as Mr. Pablo A. Pizzurno , to learn a pedagogic method through handworks (in which the folding took a relevant relief), not conceived of a simply entertainment, but as a methode highly educatif „developping toghether the eye, the feeling and the hand“. Wenn Mr. Pablo A. Pizzurno came back to Argentina, was director of the Nacional Institut of Education, and published his experiences about the folding in the school in „El trabajo manual“ (Buenos Aires: March 1896), redacted by G. Vitorín and E. Romero Brest.

The government commissioner of Chile, J. Cabezas, participate in six courses in Nääs (Sweden) and translated into spanish some works that his swedish teacher O. Salomon published. We need remember that almost since the end of the 17th century until today, Skandinavia was one of the european regions where the folding tradition is more intensiv, specially by napkin folding.

But it looks that in Argentina was where people managed the best accurate and complete system to promote the folding art in the school. The Republic of Argentina employed in Sweden for 150 pesos a month a special teacher (which name Solana don't mentioned) to teach manual work (including paper folding) in schools in Buenos Aires and in courses for teachers during the holidays. The Argentine government also appropriated an annual credit of 2000 pesos for the cost of material.

Later, this teaching was given to the Uruguayan C. Figueira y Basaldúa, who organized the program of manual works in Argentine schools in six degrees, in which the folding activities were taked into account. In this way, Argentina was the sudamerican country where the promotion of folding was best managed, and entered the 20th century with a team of competent school folding teachers. Teachers who want to recycle, attending public and private schools, as led by Juan Trufó.

In programs for the common schools of Buenos Aires that passed the National Council of Education in the Law of 12 September 1901, established the froebelian folding mainly in the first and second grade. In the third and fourth grades the folding was done mostly with cardboard.

In the following years, the folding remained a part of the program for schools in Argentina. During the 1930s, Argentina was enough mature to grow a the big figures of the pedagogic and creative folding as the forgotten Hernán Pallardó, Rosario Vera Peñaloza, Carmen Champy, J. Parodi, Araminta V. Aramburo, Rufino Yapur, the four greats: the italian Giordano Lareo, the magic Ismael Adolfo Cerceda (Carlos Corda) [1923-1979], Lígia Montoya [1920-1967] and Vicente Solórzano [1883-1970], as well as the not full forgotten pedagogs Corina L. E. Luciani and Antonio M. Luchía, Lino and Valentín Mestroni, and later the transgressor Eduardo Suárez.

With all this informations, we have a little bit more light about the froebelian origin of the folding art and teaching in Argentina. The first news about a exchange through the latin and nipon communities are later, first in the 1950s.

Vicente Palacios explain in “Papirogami” (1972) that Vicente Solórzano grounded 1954 the first paper folding museum of the world (Museo de Papiroflexia, placed in was Palacios mentioned “Pueyrredón y las Heras”). Thois museum moved 1961 from Argentina to Valladolid (Spain), and Solórzano gave his heritage for the grounding of a Centro Argentino de Papiroflexia. Palacios explain too that the japanish people living in Buenos Aires organized a Academy to teach the folding art in the Asociación Japonesa de Buenos Aires (placed in Paseo de la Independencia, 732). From this mouvement they organised two exhibitions at the Hall of the Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima in Buenos Aires, the first with folded objects of Solórzano, and the second with works of the japanese folders.

It will be very interesting to collect all the información possible about this museum, this academy and these exhibitions. I ask me if the Centro Argentino de Papiroflexia, or if the Asociación Japonesa de Buenos Aires exist today, and who recived really the heritage of Solórzano in Argentina. Perhaps some of the actual folding associations as Origami Argentina founded 2009 and presided by Meri Affranchino and Laura Azcoaga, or perhaps the Asociación de Origami & Papiroflexia „Vicente Solórzano y Sagredo“ fouded 2003 and presided by Paula C. A. de Otero know something more about it.

But sadly this golden highlight dured short time. As remember the Argentine folder Laura Azcoaga, since 1966, the dictatur of Juan Carlos Onganía eliminated the folding in the school program. After this dictature, arrived other dictatures like 1976 by Jorge Rafael Videla and 1982 by Reynaldo Bignone, breaking for a whole generation the transmission of the folding art in the scholar system, remaining the Argentinian tradition of folding almost apparently forgotten.

However, the international acknowledgment of argentinian folding level in the rest of the world cristalized wenn Gershon Legman published 1952 his „Bibliography of Paper-Folding“, where -atention- from 33 registred publications in spanish language, 28 (!) were published or printed for argentinian authors or authors living in Argentina.

Thanks to Gershon Legman, the prestige and internacional value of the argentinian authors and pedagogs remained in the rest of the world. Robert Harbin presented two of them in „Secrets of Origami” (1973). The books of Solórzano (mostly) but too the works of Lareo, Montoya, Yapur, De Luchía and Cerceda were mentioned in many folding bibliographies in books of Robert Harbin, Samuel Randlett, William L. Schaaf, James Minoru Sakoda, Peter Engel, John Smith, the Grupo Riglos or Juan Gimeno. We want remarke special atention to Vicente Palacios who dedied in his books „La creación en papiroflexia“ and „Fascinante Papiroflexia“ to the figure of Adolfo Cerceda. In this sense, we want give a mention to the article of David Listers “The History of Paperfolding in South America”, that apparead in the magazine “Fold” (1996).

A important argentinian contribution to the folding culture, imported from Germany by Vicente Solórzano, was the habitude to include in folding books a folding bibliography, with usefull folding books for teachers or artists.

The folding activity is a tradition that haven't a creator, but a developement that we can find in all civilisations in the world, some of this folks, eleved his folding tradition to the category of art. Aspects as the pre-columbian folding by the indians, the real dimension of the folding heritage from the spanish colons, or the later influences as the froebelian or japanish, must be object of a deep and objectiv documentación and research. The folding art and his transmission through anonym and not anonym pedagogs, took part early of the Argentinian cultural heritage, and we would do well to follow our research to recognize as their own, and not as a soft replicate imported last time from Japan.

And a propos Japan, country with an enorm folding tradition that all the world admire, sended at the End of 19th century, government commissioners to learn paper folding and his pedagogic value in Sweden and Germany too. Yoshihide Momotani self reconaissed that the japanese folding tradition at the beginn of the 20th century needed an effort to get away of the big esthetic and technicaly influence of the froebelian folding, to meet again the own japanese tradition and his forms. Only in this way, we can understand the developement of Michio and Kosho Uchiyama or Isao Honda, that promoved without doubt an Akira Yoshizawa and all that followed and follow today by folding and creating.
Joan Sallas
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Leuna, Germany

Sheet Nr. 26

Postby Joan Sallas » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:58 am

As promised, I upload here the scaned original paper sheet nr. 26 of the anonym document "Trabajo manual educativo. Plegado", published in Buenos Aires by the Editorial Della Penna, probably in the 1940s, which the Padore-Livrary/Archive recently acquired. That's the only one missing sheet of 30 in the document re-discovered by Laura Azcoaga in Argentina, and so we know the document complete.

As said, is the edition or reprint with green colored diagrams (not red, 23,5 x 18,5 cm.) and represent the follow three models, with a obviously influence of froebelian followers: "estrella simple abierta", "estrella de seis puntas" and "roseta exagonal" [sic].

happy researching

joan sallas
1940s - by Della Penna - plegado 26 - Padore library-archive.jpg
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Joan Sallas
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Location: Leuna, Germany

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