“Living in the Republic of Congo, the Kuyu people are divided into two clans whose totemic animals are the snake and the panther. They achieve cohesion through a secret male society caked Ottote. Kuyu artists carved light wood figures, known as Okue, who carry an emblematic animal on their heads. Very little is known about their function, but they are thought to be used during Ottote ceremonies. Kuyu carvers also produced wooden heads with rounded features and complex or conical coiffures. These heads were inset with feathers and carried on top of long poles during ceremonies at the end of the Ottote initiation period.”

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.