“Back and back the planes had come with their hail of bullets, while sampans sank and went under. Back and back until there was but one empty sampan left drifting on the water. Then the planes had come no more— not for one empty sampan. It had drifted silently— empty.”
-Meindert DeJong, Writer
The Sampan is a type of Chinese flat-bottomed wooden boat. The word “sampan” comes from the original Cantonese term for the boats and literally means three planks. One plank for the flat bottom and two for sides.
The boat was generally used for transportation in rivers and fishing. It was not designed to handle rough waters, just like the origami Sampan model.
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About the Traditional Origami Sampan Model
This traditional origami Sampan model will float if you put it on water, but probably not for very long before the paper gets wet. You can make this out of pretty much any paper. Paper that is coloured on at least one side works best. I’ve chosen to make this out of brown paper to give the impression of a wooden Sampan boat.
The Sampan is a traditional origami model that’s good to make with children because it is very simple to do and the last step is fun – you get to turn the whole model inside out! I have included the origami Sampan instructions below. Give it a try.
Base: Blintz. You can find instructions for folding a Blintz base here.
Paper: Any, but if you would like some origami paper, I recommend Folded Square. You can get it on Amazon here.
Time to make: Less than five minutes
Traditional Origami Sampan Diagrams
If you want to fold an origami sampan, just follow the step by step instructions here:
I’d love to hear your views on the traditional origami Sampan. 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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