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The hornbills’ beak form the armrests on either side of the throne. In front of the birds, to the right and left side of the throne, are two couples of royal senior chiefs, one standing on the shoulders of the other, one hand placed on their stomachs, while lifting a drinking horn to their mouths with the other hand. Their gesture indicate total loyalty and obedience to the secret king, and the promise to protect ritual secrets from disclosure to non-initiates.
The upper chiefs are connected to the birds’ beaks, while the ones below are connected to the hornbills’ feet. Metaphors that indicate the divine forces channeled to the chiefs’ via the birds, consequently enabling them to provide competent and insightful council to the king.
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