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The new Cameroon Garden will feature a variety of works of art created specifically for the garden. These will include: 

Fon Sculpture

The FON is the traditional leader of the NSO tribe. The story of the Ngonso and the ongoing narrative that 'the Fon never dies' exemplifies the strong role of folklore and oral tradition of the culture. This is the original FON and also the FON of our sister city in Kumbo, Cameroon. The oral history shared is that this area was invaded. There were two brothers and a sister who were by the water’s edge. The two brothers abandoned the sister, crossed the water, and each founded a new area and became the leaders of those new areas. The sister turned around, organized the people, and led a successful fight against the invaders. She saved the community and became the original FON. The FON is important to everyday living and guiding of the community.

Mami Wata (Mermaid)

Mami Wata is a mythical being that is common to all of Cameroon. She is a mermaid of the sea and the river. Families share stories of Mami Wata around the fire where they gather after dinner. Parents use Mommy Water to scare the children from going into the water too deep or for too long. They say she will take them if they go too far or are in the water after 6 pm. She is a big part of their culture for good and bad.

Turtle and Lizard and Soccer Ball

Sculptural turtles and lizards will be included throughout the pool area and climbing up on the walking stones. Turtles and lizards are some of the few commonly seen animals in Cameroon and are of symbolic significance. The people of Cameroon have their artistic elements as part of their everyday world that they walk amongst. Having a turtle, lizard, and a soccer ball puts elements similar to what one would see in Cameroon into our garden in La Crosse.

Sculptural Fireside with an Adult and Two Children

Cameroon remains a culture where oral history is shared from generation to generation; after dinner it is common for mothers to share stories with children while sitting around the fire. They always keep three large rocks in their fire just in case they wish to cook something (by placing pans of food on the heated rocks). In this piece of artwork, there will be space on the benches around the “fire” for people to sit amongst the sculptural family. There will also be room for an individual using a wheelchair to join the circle. The metal fire could be lit for nighttime. The two children would be looking up attentively at their mother.








Sculptures of Children Dancing around a Drum

Dancing is a part of the daily culture in Cameroon. In fact, each day, the TV stations play specific dance music for an hour so children can enjoy dance time! In addition, people dance frequently to drum music. For our sculptures, we would have two girls and a boy in different apparel, situated around a drum. (Children are considered a treasure and are revered in the Cameroon culture.)


There will be a stylized entryway between the Irish garden and the Cameroon garden. In Cameroon, these entryways are common structures found when entering a new space. They are often made with square decorative blocks featuring symbolic animals such as the spider, lion, and lizard.

Sculpture of Sense Pass King

Sense Pass King is a Cameroon story that has been shared with children for generations. In it, a little girl is born, and she grows to have more wisdom and skill than even the king possesses by the time she is two years old - so they call her Sense Pass King. The king plots to destroy her, but in the end, she saves the king by balancing on her tiptoe on the edge of a ship and shooting an arrow at a sea monster. It is a beloved story. We imagine a sculpture of her in this pose amongst our hills. We would like to have a little library in this garden to make this, and other stories from our seven sister cities, available. 

Raffia Palms

Two large metal raffia palms will create an entryway to the garden, illustrating Cameroon’s most common and loved palm tree.