Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

APE on Wikipedia:


PRIMATES ~ Monkeys and Apes

Humans are also primates, but in this animal totem index only apes and monkeys are featured. Human nature is easily seen in the characteristics and habits of monkeys and apes. We love to watch their behaviors because they remind us so much of ourselves.



Various Members of the Ape Family are well known to people. At the zoo, they see Gorilla beating his chest, and Chimpanzee making faces at them. Orangutan entertains people with his human-like activities. Much to the amazement of people watching Them, Apes openly demonstrate their feelings. What people may not know is that Apes actually have complex lives and emotions.

The Ape Family is really comprised of two families, the Great Apes (Hominidae) and the Lesser Apes (Hylobatidae). Lesser Apes are the Gibbons. Among the Great Apes are Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Orangutans, and Man. (Strong evidence links Chimpanzees to humans.)

Besides ways of displaying their emotions, Apes are similar to people in other ways. They have hands that grip firmly to pick and up and use tools. Apes explore solutions to problems much like people do. Orangutans use large leaves for umbrellas, while Chimpanzees use sticks to open termite nests. Graceful and acrobatic, Chimpanzees walk up-right. Gorillas and Gibbons bellow and thump their chests to make Themselves known.

However among Apes, Themselves, there are differences. Gorillas are more peaceful, while Chimpanzees make war with Each Other. Gibbons move quickly through the trees hooting to their Friends, but Gorillas move more slowly. Orangutans, unlike other Apes, live solitary lives. Meanwhile, Bonobos (Pigmy Chimpanzees) believe in “making love, not war”.

What Apes have in common are their expressive voices. Female Gibbon calls for mates using booms and barks. Male Gibbon responds with a scream, “I’M HERE!” Orangutan fills the rainforest with his calls, which can be heard for long distances. To tell all of his displeasure, Gorilla utters rapid hollow calls and beats his chest. However, the most vocal is Chimpanzee who maintains contact with her Troop with pants and hoots.

The Ape family teaches how to use your voice effectively. Don’t be shy; let yourself be known. Use your voice to tell people who you are and what you want. Just don’t be so obnoxious that people stop listening to you.

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