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Lunar New Year day falls on 8 Feb.  This day denotes the start of the new lunar year, which is the Year of the Monkey.  The monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac (see my previous post)  People born under this sign are supposed to be smart, quick-witted and lively, like the monkey.

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Designed by : (l to r) Akira Yoshizawa, Saadya, Nguyen Vo Hien Chuong, Kunihiko Kasahara, Lionel Albertino

I continued with my practice of folding the animal for a Chinese New Year e-card.  As I searched for a model to fold, it struck me that many of them looked similar, as you can see from the picture above.  In fact, they looked like variations of the traditonal monkey, shown here:

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Traditional monkey

Of these, the exceptions were the ones designed by Nguyen and Yoshizawa.  Nguyen’s model became my favourite, though there is a fair amount of shaping required and I am usually not keen on moulded designs.  However, as you can see they are not complex designs, so I decided to use all the animals together in the picture.

The most famous monkey in Chinese mythology is of course the Monkey King in the Chinese classic Journey to the West.  I recalled the episode where the Monkey King was bested and captured by Buddha.  The story goes that Buddha told the Monkey King that he would not be able to get out of his palm.  So the Monkey King jumped onto Buddha’s palm and ran to the end of the world.  He saw five pillars and inscribed on one of them.  He then came back to meet the Buddha.  The Buddha showed him that he had in fact put the inscription on his upright finger.  Buddha then went on to capture the Monkey King.  I thought this image could represent this story:

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Miniature monkey

Happy Year of the Monkey!

Diagram sources:

  1.   Akira Yoshizawa,   Origami : Living Nature
  2.   Saadya, Sculptural Origami
  3.   Nguyen Vo Hien Chuong, 50 Hours of Origami + by Vietnam Origami Group
  4.   Kunihiko Kasahara, Origami Omnibus
  5.   Lionel Albertino, Safari Origami
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