Like the Bangwa, the Kom of Cameroon are governed by a number of secret societies (including the Kwifon society) and run by a central chief (Fon).
Tradition dictates that each Fon much commission the creation of a large scale figure (known as an effigy throne which is often life-size) in his likeness, and in that of the queen mother (Nafon) and of his first wife. These mbang figures (also called afon-a-kom or ufwu-a-kom meaning 'things of Kom') are used during annual celebrations to pay tribute to past Fon and Nafon ancestors. They are also used during inauguration ceremonies of the new Fon; the new Fon sits on the effigy throne created by his predecessor during the inauguration ceremony.
After the ceremony and when not in use, the effigy thrones are kept in royal shrines along with other scared Kom objects.