Cigar Store Indian

Back in the days when New York had more Optimos than Duane Reades, these wooden icons of Native Americans graced the entrances of smoke shops to evoke the aura of Native Americans and Europeans sharing the peace pipe. Carved from wood they range from two or three feet tall to full life size. Nowadays they’re more like American folk art, cherished by some and reviled by others.. While some consider them racist stereotypes, not unlike Black jockey lawn ornaments, there are still a couple of Greenwich Village smoke shops that continue to display this symbol.

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