1000 Cranes @ VT


1000 Cranes @ VT


<i>About the bird:</i>

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds of the order Gruiformes, and family Gruidae. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". (from Wikipedia)

Cranes are known for their long life spans. Though the average life span cited in various sources to not necessarily agree (probably depends on the sub-species also), numbers tend to be in the 60 to 80 year range. This was much longer than the average life span of humans in ancient times. As a result, the crane, together with the turtle/tortoise, became symbols of longevity, and, consequently, of good fortune in China and the surrounding countries. East Asian Folklore states that cranes live for 1,000 years, and turtles/tortoises for 10,000 years (a bit of an exaggeration).

<i>About Origami:</i>

The word "Origami" is Japanese for "Folding Paper". It refers to the art, as well as the paper made specifically for the activity. The origin of Origami is not known, but it was most probably invented in China, as most things were, soon after the invention of paper. It propagated both east and west together with the technology of paper making: east toward Japan where it became known as Origami; west through the Islamic Empire all the way to Spain, where it is known today as "Papiroflexia" (Paper Folding) or "folding pajaritas." (The "pajarita" is a fold popular in Spain which represents a sparrow.)

<i>About the Tradition of Folding 1000 Cranes:</i>

In Japan, tradition states that if you fold 1000 origami cranes, it will bring you good health and good luck. When someone is suffering from a severe sickness or injury, spouses, parents, children and other family members and/or friends, and sometimes the patient him/herself, would fold 1000 cranes to wish for the person&#39;s recovery. It is unclear hold old this tradition is, but the term "Semba-Zuru" (1000 Cranes) dates back at least 200 years.

<i>About the 1000 Cranes @ VT Project:</i>

After the horrific events on April 16, 2007, a group of people in Blacksburg, and the surrounding communities (Christiansburg, Radford, Salem, Roanoke, Pembroke, etc.) got together and decided to fold as many cranes as possible to encourage the students and faculty who were wounded in the attack, and to wish for their speedy and complete recovery. The group included both undergraduate and graduate students, current and emeritus faculty members, and people from the local communities including children as young as preschoolers. Many nationalities were represented including, but not limited to, American, Belgian, Chinese, German, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Luxembourger, Lebanese, Palestinian, Serbian, Swedish, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese. The four major faiths were also represented: Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. The total number of people involved is unclear since friends called on friends to help out, who called on their friends to help out, and so on and so forth. The art supply shop Mish Mish also pitched in by providing a discount to the paper purchased.

In the five days from April 18th to 22nd, the group completed over 5000 cranes, each crane representing a sincere prayer of the folder for the wounded. The cranes were then strung together into strands of 50 birds each: 20 strands adding up to 1000 cranes. A 50-bird strand was sent to each of the wounded students, and the remainder (over 4000) is displayed here.

More cranes are currently being folded, and they will be added to the display as they become available. <b>If you would also like to express your support and prayer for the wounded, please contribute a crane/cranes.</b> Instructions on how to fold one can easily be found on the internet by searching for "origami crane". They are also usually included in packages of origami sold in stores. The collection point of the complete cranes is in the <b>Squires Student Center 225 Office Suite</b> where they will be picked up by members of our group. A 50-bird strand ready to be hung would be most appreciated.

The 1000 Cranes @ VT Project


The 1000 Cranes @ VT Project




Brent Jesiek




The 1000 Cranes @ VT Project, “1000 Cranes @ VT,” The April 16 Archive, accessed March 18, 2019, http://april16archive.org/items/show/985.