The Monga Show: prototyping Amerindian Perspectivism through the girl-to-gorilla trick

Tai Cossich


The Monga Show is the tropical version of the girl-to-gorilla trick, a sideshow act in which a beautiful lady mutates into an agitated gorilla, through an illusion technique called Pepper’s Ghost. This paper is a personal account of the process of building a mini Pepper’s Ghost illusion device, a prototype that emulates the Monga Show. Building this device led me to speculate on the possibility of it functioning as a model that prefigures Amerindian Perspectivism (Viveiros de Castro, 2004). The paper includes diagrams showing how the device works, and a brief discussion of the differences between the Pepper’s Ghost scene and the Monga Show act.


Keywords: Prototypes; Practice-led research; Pepper’s Ghost; Amerindian Perspectivism.

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