Native American Made Cigar Store Indian Sculptures by Frank Gallagher
Cigar Store Indians are a form of American Folk Art dating back to the 1800s. They were commonly placed on the walk in front of tobacconist shops to direct illiterate customers to the shop. Since there were so many immigrants that couldn't read English, it was common to use visual trade signs such as a carving instead of written signs to bridge the language barrier. The Cigar Store Indian was said to be the most popular trade sign but other businesses used trade signs too. An Indian was chosen for a tobacco shop because it was Indians that introduced tobacco to early explorers of the Americas. These Cigar Store Indians, standing outside shops, served as an indicator to the Native Americans that the shop owner inside would trade with them. These carvings are all made from 100% natural Rocky Mountain Aspen wood that was cut and cured for approximately one year before it is carved. It is a natural product and some cracking may occur. Our model for the pictures is Toby, and she is 5'1" tall. Please call for stock on hand. If you want a specific color that we do not have in stock, it will take 4-6 weeks for delivery.