Origami, the Japanese name for the art of paper folding, comes from the Japanese verb oru (to fold) and the noun kami (paper). The word "origami" is now commonly used around the world. It’s a traditional Japanese art, which started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside Japan in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques.
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origami