An Ostrich-shaped mystery!

Written by RussellAnimals, Beginner, Birds, Models



This origami ostrich is a bit of an odd one – I have no idea whose model this is! I came across this in an origami page-a-day-calendar a few years ago.  There was no designer listed.  Most of the other designs in the calendar that weren’t attributed to a creator were traditional models, but I can’t find any record of this design anywhere else – which you would not expect to see for a traditional model. 

If you know who created this Ostrich, or can confirm it’s a traditional design, please get in contact or leave a comment below. If it is a traditional model, I will diagram it.  If someone can provide details of where to find diagrams if this isn’t a traditional design, I will include the link here.

There are a lot of origami ostriches out there and most of them (including this one) are very good examples of where I think origami still needs to develop.  The emphasis is too much on representation, and not enough on what defines the subject – in this case, what behaviours are typical of an ostrich? The stereotypes of an ostrich is that they bury their heads in the sand, and that they can’t fly.

Despite this, most detailed modern origami ostrich designs focus on the realism, the proportions and colours of the bird. There are very few origami ostriches that try to show a bird with its head underground.  This one even has massive wings!

It’s a very simple model to make, and takes about five minutes. Any type of paper will do. I have folded this one out of standard 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) kami. I’m not generally a fan of kami for animal models as I think it can look lifeless and uninteresting.  Having said that, the grey kami I have used here works surprisingly well!

Difficulty: Simple
Time to fold: 5 minutes
Paper choice: Any

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I’d love to hear your views on this ostrich. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!

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About the Author


Russell has been folding origami since he was 8 years old and has recently written the book, Origami Made Simple. He is on the Council for the British Origami Society and a member of OrigamiUSA. When he is not folding, he enjoys photography and traveling.

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