Primary Source

Indus Valley Climbing Monkey Toy [Object]


The monkey figurine shown in two views is mounted on a wooden platform for display, but it was apparently designed with the ability to slide down a string or thin rod so as to appear to climb or jump. The figurine is hand-modeled from terracotta and features a fully rounded body in a complicated, lifelike pose with a realistic facial expression, ears, and incised lines representing its fur. The monkey was excavated from the Indus Valley archaeological site called Mohenjo-Daro, dated to ca. 2500 B.C.E. Excavations from sites in the Indus Valley included many figurines made from terracotta, some of which were clearly for entertainment, including whistles shaped like birds, small animals including bulls with moveable heads and horns, and toy carts. Archaeologists classified the monkey figurine as a toy. The figurine is 5.5 centimeters (2.1 inches) high.


Climbing Monkey hand-modeled, Indus Valley, Delhi National Museum; Set 61: Indian Terracottas I: From Indian Earth 6103; copyright ACSAA Slide (c)AAAUM.

How to Cite This Source

"Indus Valley Climbing Monkey Toy [Object]," in Children and Youth in History, Item #312, (accessed December 7, 2021). Annotated by Susan Douglass