Signs for MONKEY

How do you sign "monkey" in ASL? And, something to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, and... scroll down to see the fourth element.

Meaning: A small to medium-sized primate that typically has a long tail, most kinds of which live in trees in tropical countries.


Deaf Art

Image courtesy of Kim Anderson.

On her 8"x10" watercolor Elements & The Fourth Element (2019), her statement explains that in the original stories of the four monkeys in Japan in the 17th century, we are familiar with the "Three Wise Monkeys" (i.e. see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). Though, the fourth monkey (i.e. do no evil) was somehow left out.

She continues, "In this artwork, this proverb of the four monkeys has been converted to the four gifted elements of a Deaf human being. All four gifted elements also have an underlying meaning of doing no harm. The painting/brush is the action of doing no evil, the hand is signing no evil, the eye is seeing no evil, the brain is thinking no evil. Unfortunately, these beautiful elements gifted with goodness in a Deaf human being can also be used for evil."

Deaf Culture and History

Deaf American artist John Carlin (1813-1891) published a book for children, "The Scratchsides Family" with drawings of monkeys, engraved by another deaf T.W. Roane. You can read the book available at .

Carlin also painted "After a Long Cruise" -- see CRUISE.

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