Native American Store Standers
In the West, characters used to advertise products appeared as early as the 17th century with the “cigar store Indian.” Native Americans were associated with the introduction of tobacco and so became a common symbol of tobacco stores. It wasn’t long before shops had wooden figures made with crude representations of how they thought Native Americans looked to show their often illiterate customers what they sold. This is our first post on Idle Idol looking at mascots outside of Japan. We’ll be doing this more and more after the book has launched. The first photo was taken by Edward in Tokyo but all the others are taken by different photographers. Click the photos to go to their flickr pages. To see more great Cigar store indians check out our gallery on flickr.