Cigar Store Indian Description

Figures like this were once commonplace as advertisements for tobacconists’ shops. As early as the 17th century, European and later American shops featured stylized figures holding tobacco leaves or cigars in their hands. The variety of exotic characters chosen as advertisements included Mr. Punch from Punch and Judy shows, turbaned Hindus & Turks, kilted Scottish Highlanders, African-Americans and Native Americans.  In this statue, the man’s headdress and parts of his outfit are made from tobacco leaves. He holds cigars in his right hand and a tobacco box in his left hand.  The statue stands on a wheeled base, allowing it to be moved easily in and out of the tobacconist’s shop.