By Federico Cornetto
Pictures show a chained monkey forced to walk on stilts, ride a scooter and wear a totem mask for the entertainment of passers-by.
Photojournalist Sutanta Aditya captured images of the unsettling street exhibition on the streets of Medan, Indonesia, last week [Jan 4].
Tragically, the photographer claims this type of show is not at all uncommon in Asian countries.
In this case, the exhibitor dragged the monkey along with a metal chain tied to its neck, made it walk on stilts and ride a scooter while wearing a tracksuit, a hat and an eerie totem mask.
Sutanta said: “Various conservation groups are screaming in protest against monkey street attractions, but really this is a traditional form of art entertainment that is still found in many public areas.
“Monkey mask is a traditional art known in various regions of Indonesia.
“It also occurs in India, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, China, Cambodia, Japan and Korea.”
According to Sutanta, this type of show involves a handler who trains his monkey to carry out various activities that mimic human behaviour, such as dressing up and going shopping.
He said: “Many of the people involved don’t do it because they are cruel, but because they need money and have no other way to get it.
“Doing this you can get from 75.000 to 150.000 rupees in one day of work, which is between £4 and £8 – good money for them.
“This type of show is played around residential areas, and the audience is mostly children.”