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Oriland: In Search of the Lost Diagrams
by Rachel Katz

Take a magic trip to Oriland and experience Origami as you're never experienced it before.

Yurii and Katrin Shumakov have created a fantastic world of origami. It is a place called Oriland. Anyone with access to the World Wide Web can spend an hour (I dare you to keep it that short) a day, an evening or as. Florence Temko (CA) wrote in the guest book there, "I just got back from a vacation in Oriland and had a wonderful time. The trip was awesome. What a creative use of origami.. "

Oriland is made up of seven cities: Oriville, Foldingburg, Goblington, Papertown, La Magic, Newfold, and San Elf. Each one has a castle, a statue, distinctive architecture, beings, flowers, a piece of the Treasury of Oriland, and more; just go there and see for yourself at::http.//library.advanced.org/27152/index.htm

Editor's Note: this Oriland site was created for the ThinkQuest Competition 1999. the Shumakov's won a silver medal. ThinkQuest programs underscore using the internet and related technologies as powerful new learning tools that can be used by young people around the world.

Other search engines will get you there if you ask them to take you to Oriland. and find the link to the ThinkQuest site. In a little over two months, this site has had almost 1.35 million hits! The exposure for origami in sheer numbers is amazing and the quality of their work in equally awe-inspiring.

Be a ''Best Scout"
As part of ThinkQuest and in keeping with the name, visitors are chellenged to search for the Lost Diagrams and thereby put together the clues. If you are successful, as was Michelle Tait (NY), the grateful inhabitants of Oriland award you the title, "Best Scout of Oriland." (Michelle just might be the first OrigamiUSA member to be named a "Best scout"). In your explorations, hidden just about anywhere - perhaps behind a tree, in a house, or behind a statue, are the lost diagrams. As you find them, you will collect the diagrams for a model and a two-letter clue on each diagram to help you solve the puzzle.

You're Not in Kansas Anymore
A stop at Oriversity in Oriville, the capital of Oriland, will reveal lectures and diagrams for about 70 models, just about all of them originals - and articles on other interesting subjects. In Oriversity's library you can learn that origami is not only entertainment, but also way to develop psychomotor, intellectual and creative abilities.

Find where the Origami Cafe and leave messages for other origami enthusiasts. In addition to the Castle, there is the Gallery of Heroes, and the Museum of Architecture in which it is possible to see some of the models from the Treasury of Oriland.

Foldingburg has dinosaur skeletons, the Foldingburg Castle, a statue and, of course, the Museum of Paleontology, which houses some of the Treasury of Oriland and an exhibition of animals.

In Newfold: Garden of a Thousand Aromas, inhabitants look after the garden and a statue, and Castle Newfold is as imaginative as can be. There is an Oribana Pavilion and flower arrangement that is also part of the Treasury of Oriland.

Goblins who cultivate strawberries and love to travel in ships live in Goblington. In addition to it's special statue, the Castle has an exhibition of boxes and vases and a "Paper Assorti" exhibition. Papertown is Oriland's theme park city. Oriland's inhabitants visit this city and use the Salon of Transport. There is an Office Supplies Exposition in the Castle, where part of the Treasury of Oriland is displayed. What would a theme park be without its own Big Wheel? You'll find the origami version of this along with the special Statue of Papertown.

As if all this wasn't magical enough, the Shumakovs have created a city called La Magic: the Magic Portal. You've probably guessed that the castle here houses the Gallery of Magic Items, but it also houses the Exhibition of Decorations and part of the Treasury of Oriland.

The Whispering Forest of San Elf is inhabited by small wood spirits personifying the natural elements (elves). The San-Elf Statue and The Museum of Flora are in the San-Elf Castle that houses the plants of Oriland. It is also part of the Treasury of Oriland. Oriland delights in many ways with surprising little features, including a place to click and send a flower to a young lady in a boat in order to win her love. You can watch the response fly across the screen to the lucky suitor.

The Origami and Education Link
Katrin and Yurii Shumakov, the creators of this whimsical, beautiful world are graduate students who have written their Ph.D. thesis on how origami affects the brain and develops skills in children. Folders recognize the benefits that origami brings to education. To name a few of the obvious ones, origami improves:
*Eye hand coordination
*Visual and auditory attention skills
*Problem Solving
*Sequencing skills
*Self Esteem

For me, the most surprising benefit that emerged from their studies is that paperfolding stimulates the language portion of the brain. The Shumakovs note that as the child begins showing a preference for the right or left hand, the other side of the brain receives less stimulation. Origami, which necessarily uses both hands provides the stimulation for optimal learning.

Leonardo Da Vinci would applaud this finding. He, too, theorized that for optimal brain function, he should force himself to use the opposite hand in his work. This research goes a long way in explaining why very young children are able to learn languages so easily. Do go to Oriversity to read the complete or abridged text of this enlightening study. The Shumakovs would like to replicate
their study in other countries.

Then There're the Web Site
If chasing down The Lost Diagrams isn't for you, you can visit Oriland at their equally beautiful web site www.oriland.com.
Jeremy Shafer (CA) wrote in the San Francisco orgami publication B.A.R.F. "Check out this new, incredibly prolific, impressively hi-tech, beautifully colorful origami site, which puts all western sites to shame: Yurii & Katrin Shumakov's origami gallery. " There, by clicking on Origami Studio you can easily access diagrams for the 70 models that they generously share with the origami community. The models that have been diagrammed run from simple to high intermediate. Models use one or several pieces of paper and rarely any cutting or glue

A click on "Origami Gallery" reveals pictures of many more models. There is so much more to be explored at this site including their thesis, news, information on their books and CD's, links etc. We are indeed fortunate to be exposed to these talented folders. Don't miss a visit to Oriland to see what the excitement is all about.

* * *

The PAPER" the magazine of OrigamiUSA,
Issue #66, December 1999, p.18-19.


NOTE: These texts may be reproduced only for personal use, and may not be redistributed or republished in any way without the express written consent of the creator.


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