Storefront statues date back to the 1800′s when wooden Cigar Store Indians were used to lure costumers to tobacconist shops. To deal with the illiteracy of the general public, business owners advertised their shops from the sidewalks using life-sized statues. The tradition continues on to this day with many NYC shop owners utilizing the age-old technique. Step right up folks. Check back every Friday for a new photo essay.

See the photos in the gallery above.

(Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)