"cylindrical roll of tobacco for smoking," generally pointed at one end and cut at the other, 1730, from Spanish cigarro (source also of French cigare), probably from Maya sicar "to smoke rolled tobacco leaves," from si'c "tobacco;" or from or influenced by Spanish cigarra "grasshopper, cicada" (on resemblance of shape), from Vulgar Latin *cicala (source also of French cigale, Italian cigala); see cicada.
Cigar-box is from 1819; cigar-store from 1839; the wooden cigar-store Indian is from 1879, American English, but wooden images of feathered Indians or Negroes are mentioned outside tobacconists' shops in England by 1852, and are said to have been in earlier use on the Continent.
Blackamoors and other dark-skinned foreigners have always possessed considerable attractions as signs for tobacconists, and sometimes also for public-houses. Negroes, with feathered headdresses and kilts, smoking pipes, are to be seen outside tobacco shops on the Continent, as well as in England. [Jacob Larwood and John Camden Hotten, "The History of Signboards From the Earliest Times to the Present Day," London, 1867]
Web design and development by MaoningTech.