Bandar-log (Hindi: बन्दर-लोग) is a term used in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book to describe the monkeys of the Seeonee jungle. In Hindi, Bandar means "monkey" (possibly the gray langur) and log means "people" - Therefore, "Bandar-log" means "monkey people." The term has also since come to refer to "any body of irresponsible chatterers."
The Bandar-log feature most prominently in the story "Kaa's Hunting", where their scatterbrained anarchy causes them to be treated as pariahs by the rest of the jungle. Their foolish and chattering ways are illustrated by their slogan: We are great. We are free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true. Bandar-log communicate almost entirely through the repetition of other animals' speech.
The Road-Song of the Bandar-log is a companion poem to 'Kaa's Hunting', and demonstrates Kipling's strong adherence to poetic form.
The Bandar-log appear in Disney's The Jungle Book. It is stated repeatedly in the Kipling story that the Bandar-log "have no king;" however, the Disney film version gave them one: King Louie. He is an orangutan, but in reality, orangutans are not found in India. The Bandar-log capture Mowgli and take him to Louie. They participate in the "I Wan'na Be Like You", during which Baloo and Bagheera attempt to free Mowgli from Louie.
They reappear in The Jungle Book 2, this time without their leader Louie. They are just seen dancing with Baloo, Mowgli, and other animals.
In The Jungle Book, the Bandar-log appear more as mischievous treasure thieves associated with King Louie (an orangutan again). Their vocal effects are provided by Frank Welker, using sounds of chimpanzees. One day, a monkey is seen stealing a bracelet from a boy raised by wolves named Mowgli, which belonged and was offered to him by Katherine "Kitty" Brydon in their childhood before Mowgli was separated from civilization along with his pet wolf, Grey Brother. The monkey then runs off with Mowgli and Grey Brother in pursuit until they reach an abandoned city inhabited by monkeys called "Monkey City."
After Mowgli (with Grey Brother told to wait outside) enters the city and into the treasure trove, the Bandar-log are seen gathering along with their "king," King Louie wearing King Louis XIV's crown. When Mowgli demands that King Louie returns his bracelet and the ape refuses, the ape summons his treasure guardian; Kaa the deadly python. The monkeys watch in shock as a battle ensues between the boy and the snake in the moat; ending with the boy triumphing by wounding the snake with a dagger he found with the treasure pile and winning. After Mowgli wins and stares at the monkeys, the monkeys start to fear him. King Louie admits defeat, returns the bracelet to Mowgli, and applauds him with the monkeys cheering over his victory. Later on, when Captain Boone (the main villain of the film) and Kitty reach the treasure trove, King Louie and the monkeys watch in horror as Mowgli and Boone engage in a fierce sword fight. The battle ends with Mowgli wounding the evil soldier on the right arm with a dagger. The Bandar-log cheer for Mowgli's next victory and King Louie takes care of the rest by summoning Kaa again.
As Mowgli and Kitty leave the place and Boone stays to gather some loot since "the treasure only brings death," the monkeys continue screeching, chittering, and cheering. Then, when King Louie and the Bandar-log stop, Boone suspects this means something strange is about to happen. His suspicions are proven correct when Kaa surprises Boone from behind; causing him to fall into the moat. When Boone is underwater, dragged down by the weight of the treasure in his backpack, he notices a few skeletons of people whom Kaa had killed in the past. Boone joins them while screaming in terror when Kaa unexpectedly appears and strikes, thus killing him. The Bandar-log and King Louie are happy and cheer over Boone's death.
- Entry for bandar-log in the Oxford English Dictionary Online, 2013 - The entry for bandar-log has not been updated since 1933.
- Gose, Elliott B. (1988). Mere Creatures: A Study of Modern Fantasy Tales for Children. University of Toronto Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8020-5761-7.
- Parsons, Marnie (1994). Touch Monkeys. University of Toronto Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8020-2983-6.