This page of the guide to Kao the Kangaroo contains information about totems that appear on each map. You will learn what they are for and whether collecting them is worth it.
How totems work
Totems are the kind of collectibles and secrets that every player should collect. These collectibles are necessary for plot development. You need totems to unlock new maps. This means that if you don't collect enough of them, you'll have to go back and gather the required amount.
You collect totems just like any other collectible in the game. They look like pebbles surrounded by a purple glow. We have shown one of them in the screen above.