Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • This jaraik is unique because it uses a real monkey skull to enliven the flat, abstract shapes that form the body and legs of an imaginary creature. Try getting in the same position as this figure, with knees bent and arms lifted high. Describe how you feel in this stance.
  • What do you think this piece was used for? Do you think this work of art was meant to be in a museum? Why or why not?
  • A jaraik is a holy object, an altar that is able to protect against aggressive or evil forces and enhance homes by fostering positive forces.
  • Jaraiks were used in traditional homes across parts of Indonesia. Jaraiks like this one were placed over the doorway that connects the middle room of a house with the most sacred rear room of the house. It guards the families, especially where the women and the children slept. Why do you think the jaraik is placed near the women and children’s area?
  • What different animal traits do you see?
  • What materials do you think were used to make this work of art?
  • Why do you think someone would want to protect a place?
  • What kind of places would you protect?
  • What would it be like to live with this in your home?
  • Can you think of protective objects from another culture?