La Pajarita

For the penultimate day of World Origami Days 2015 I have folded the Pajarita.

The Pajarita is one of the most interesting traditional origami models, because it may well be one of the first origami designs to have come out of Europe, instead of Japan or China.  There is strong evidence that it originated in Spain, although like much of origami history, there are conflicting reports about this. Wherever it comes from, it’s certainly one of the oldest and most famous traditional models.

Its generally accepted name is La Pajarita, meaning ‘Little Bird’ although it is also known by several different names in other countries. In the PlayStation video game Heavy Rain, pajaritas are called origami murder birds.  In Germany, the Pajarita is called “Papierdrache” which translates to”Paper dragon”.   “Asfur” means “folded paper bird” in Arabic. In Japan, they call the folded bird “anu” not to be confused with “tsuru” which is the origami crane.

Folding the Pajarita

Like a lot of traditional origami, the Pajarita is simple to make and only takes a few minutes to do.  It is therefore ideal for beginners and to make with children. Any paper will do. Choosing a square of paper that is only coloured on one side will give the finished model a different coloured head. It looks just as good folded from paper that is coloured on both sides.

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

Pajarita Instructions

1. Start with a completed Traditional Windmill. Instructions hereThe completed windmill
2. Fold the left point down along the existing crease to meet the bottom pointFold point down
3. Fold the top point down to the left along the existing creaseFold point left
4. Mountain fold the whole model in half along the diagonal, allowing the right point to fold up to the top, and the bottom point to flip out to the leftFold in half
5. Outside reverse fold the top point over to the right along the existing crease to form the headOutside fold to form head
6. The Pajarita is completeCompleted Pajarita

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on this pajarita or any other beginner origami models.  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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