Cigar Store Figurine
This carved and painted cigar store figure, made around 1870, represents a man in supposed Indian dress. Unlike most cigar store figures of the period, this one depicts a Virginia Indian of the 1600s, wearing a crown of tobacco leaves and a "kilt" and armbands, also of tobacco leaves, with a beaded necklace. The features, however, are unmistakably African. The maker may have based his image on Virginia tobacco labels of the 1700s showing Indians wearing crowns like this but also depicted as black. The figure reflects the 1870s white viewpoint that lumped Indians and blacks together as "colored."
Description courtesy of the Virginia Historical Society.