Cigar Store Indian - Main Street

helenabear

Well-Known Member
Historically the Taino "Indians" (Native Americans) were the people the explorers encountered on the island of Hispanola. They performed "Cohiba" a tobacco smoking ceremony led by a "Behike", a Native American shaman/like leader who took their prayers to the "Atabey" a Native American god. If some of those words are familiar to you, then maybe you know something about cigars. The typical Native American Chief is out of place as a point of reference because the Taino definitely had a different look. I do appreciate these as art because they are individually carved and typically made respectfully. They belong outside tobacco shops. Since WDW doesn't have a tobacconist any longer, it's fine to get rid of IMO.
I agree with this. Particularly since it depends on who you talk to about Taino and if they consider themselves 'native american' or not. Many like just being called Taino. Some native of whatever country they are from. Some even Spanish Indian. Though I think it's 100% outdated to call any natives of the Americas "indian" at all. At least true of my Taino family. They just call themselves Taino and leave at that. They truly wouldn't have much in common with many of the natives from N. America especially the stereotypical portrayals we give (accurate or not).
 

righttrack

Well-Known Member
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I agree with this. Particularly since it depends on who you talk to about Taino and if they consider themselves 'native american' or not. Many like just being called Taino. Some native of whatever country they are from. Some even Spanish Indian. Though I think it's 100% outdated to call any natives of the Americas "indian" at all. At least true of my Taino family. They just call themselves Taino and leave at that. They truly wouldn't have much in common with many of the natives from N. America especially the stereotypical portrayals we give (accurate or not).
Agree. In the US we commonly adopted the term "Indian" for the native people. This was based on the original explorer's route to the far east and when they came upon darker skinned people, thought they had landed in India rather than this new continent. I agree with you this is outdated terminology. I meant no disrespect.
 

SSH

Well-Known Member
I dunno about anyone else, but EVERY time I walked by that statue, I had to laugh, thinking about the Seinfeld episode with Kramer's cigar store Indian adventure and Jerry's stream of accidental missteps, insulting that cute Native American girl he was after.
 

crxbrett

Well-Known Member
I dunno about anyone else, but EVERY time I walked by that statue, I had to laugh, thinking about the Seinfeld episode with Kramer's cigar store Indian adventure and Jerry's stream of accidental missteps, insulting that cute Native American girl he was after.
Classic episode! The whole bit about taking gifts back and selling back game tickets without offending her was hilarious! :hilarious::joyfull:
 
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helenabear

Well-Known Member
Agree. In the US we commonly adopted the term "Indian" for the native people. This was based on the original explorer's route to the far east and when they came upon darker skinned people, thought they had landed in India rather than this new continent. I agree with you this is outdated terminology. I meant no disrespect.
Oh I know you didn't. It was more of a statement for all to see. In fact you were very respectful sounding and well educated really. Most have a more euro-centric view of what went on in that time and region.

You should hear why my Indian family says about it all too lol. Not to mention them being called East Indian. Yes mostly tongue in cheek to show how bad we've become as a whole. And yes, my family is kinda diverse and not really easily offended by this.
 

DisRunner

New Member
Hello everyone. I actually emailed Disney in hopes of finding something out and a cast member called me back a day or so later. The message was that the Indian on Main Street was moved to "paint and restore" but the cast member then said that a decision was made later that the Indian "needed to go away for a little while" and he was "not sure when he's returning".
The news just doesn't sound promising that he'll back in front of Crystal Arts anytime soon, if ever. I've had my picture taken with him every time I go to the Magic Kingdom and have had my friends and family do the same for an album I keep. Hard to believe he might've been removed after 47 years.
 

geekza

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone. I actually emailed Disney in hopes of finding something out and a cast member called me back a day or so later. The message was that the Indian on Main Street was moved to "paint and restore" but the cast member then said that a decision was made later that the Indian "needed to go away for a little while" and he was "not sure when he's returning".
The news just doesn't sound promising that he'll back in front of Crystal Arts anytime soon, if ever. I've had my picture taken with him every time I go to the Magic Kingdom and have had my friends and family do the same for an album I keep. Hard to believe he might've been removed after 47 years.
Thanks for the update. I'm not surprised that they've decided to "retire" him. Hopefully, they'll keep it well-stored since it is a piece of park history and isn't so huge that it would take up an enormous amount of space.
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
The Pirates of the Carribean wife auction, now the cigar store Indian. What's next ? The statue of Walt Disney because he was a smoker ?
I don't see the two as the same. One was perpetuated by inaccurate stereotypes and utterly incorrect usage of a word.

Keep in mind the Taino are not like the indigenous of the United States and yet we use a figure that more closely looks like the stereotype of those from the US mainland. Taino are from the Caribbean and are vastly different from any tribes those on mainland US soil would have come across. Remember Colombo (Columbus) did not reach the mainland, but the Caribbean. The Taino is who he came across, not a tribe like we think of from the US. These were people from an entirely different set of countries.

The other was done as a way to whitewash history to make it seem more family friendly, though really I don't like that either. History doesn't have to be pretty. But they did it to empower women I guess.
 
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ppete1975

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone. I actually emailed Disney in hopes of finding something out and a cast member called me back a day or so later. The message was that the Indian on Main Street was moved to "paint and restore" but the cast member then said that a decision was made later that the Indian "needed to go away for a little while" and he was "not sure when he's returning".
The news just doesn't sound promising that he'll back in front of Crystal Arts anytime soon, if ever. I've had my picture taken with him every time I go to the Magic Kingdom and have had my friends and family do the same for an album I keep. Hard to believe he might've been removed after 47 years.
No disrespect, but that doesn't sound like an official Disney email. Unless you are misquoting, or the employee needs a new job.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I don't see the two as the same. One was perpetuated by inaccurate stereotypes and utterly incorrect usage of a word. The other was done as a way to whitewash history to make it seem more family friendly.
What inaccurate stereotypes, exactly? What incorrect usage of a word?
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
None taken, but it's accurate. The employee called me back, left his name and direct line. The quotes I used were from the message I received from him. The email response I received was from "guest.mail@wdw.disneyonline.com".
I'm confused. Was it an email or a phone call? The quote I'm speaking of is, "needed to go away for a little while", most companies would never use that wording. I would expect, the Cigar shop indian was removed for refurbishment. I am unsure when or if he will return. Are you interested in DVC, if so let me know.
 

DisRunner

New Member
I'm confused. Was it an email or a phone call? The quote I'm speaking of is, "needed to go away for a little while", most companies would never use that wording. I would expect, the Cigar shop indian was removed for refurbishment. I am unsure when or if he will return. Are you interested in DVC, if so let me know.
I'll try to make this less confusing for you: I emailed Disney about the whereabouts of the Indian. I didn't receive a reply so I emailed back. The cast member called the next day and left a voicemail. He stated that he did remember my email and thought that he had replied to me. He asked me to check my spam because his reply might have been sent there. He then went on to say the exact statements I've quoted. They're exact because I still have his voicemail on my phone and typed the exact words he used. Like I said, he left his name and number and stated I could call back. I didn't call back.
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
I'll try to make this less confusing for you: I emailed Disney about the whereabouts of the Indian. I didn't receive a reply so I emailed back. The cast member called the next day and left a voicemail. He stated that he did remember my email and thought that he had replied to me. He asked me to check my spam because his reply might have been sent there. He then went on to say the exact statements I've quoted. They're exact because I still have his voicemail on my phone and typed the exact words he used. Like I said, he left his name and number and stated I could call back. I didn't call back.
Ok that makes more sense. Once again I'm not trying to attack you. I just know how written communication is done in a huge company like Disney. Anything written can go viral in seconds. A phone call, I can certainly see that happening, even if ill advised.
 

DisRunner

New Member
Ok that makes more sense. Once again I'm not trying to attack you. I just know how written communication is done in a huge company like Disney. Anything written can go viral in seconds. A phone call, I can certainly see that happening, even if ill advised.
Hey no problem. I'm not happy about the removal and I probably should've called back. Hopefully, the Indian didn't offend anyone and maybe, just maybe he's getting refurbished and will return soon.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Natives or indigenous people of the Americas are not Indians. Indians are from India. Indian is a Euro word that is incorrect to use as it is not reflective of the indigenous people. The cigar men that were found in the 1500-1600s where this came from were not natives of any tribe that is from the US mainland and yet the features are of stereotypical native Americans. If you read this thread those two questions had already been addressed.
The West Indies are an actual place. Yes, they were named incorrectly by European explorers who incorrectly thought they had circumnavigated the globe, but they named it nonetheless. Not every word is historically precise in its origin. A white rhino isn't white, it's gray. It's still called a white rhino.
 
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