At first, the Bandar-Log, or Monkey-People, are pleased just to associate with Mowgli. They speak to him out of curiosity and because it annoys Baloo, who has not mentioned the Bandar-Log to Mowgli since they do not obey the Law of the Jungle and he does not consider them part of its society.
One of the Bandar-Log, however, has noticed Mowgli's skill with wood, which Kipling says is a hereditary trait. He persuades the others that Mowgli will be able to teach them useful skills, such as how to weave sticks together to make screens for protection from the wind.
It is emphasized throughout The Jungle Book that, though occasionally dangerous and frequently malicious, the Bandar-Log are wildly ineffectual and improvident creatures who are quite incapable of forming a strategy and sticking to it. They tell Mowgli that they are about to choose a leader, but it turns out that they are always on the brink of selecting a leader and never do so. It is clear that if they did succeed in keeping Mowgli in their tribe for any significant length of time, they would probably forget all about the idea of learning to work with wood. For many of them, this idea is probably already merely a pretext for causing some trouble for the ground-dwellers in the jungle, towards whom they are always hostile.