Flint Fishhooks and Roi-Tan Cigars

The Archaeology in Tennessee blog would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our many readers for the time that has elapsed since our last post.  In addition to coping with job hunting, occasional family health issues, and being quite literally iced in at our house in Oak Ridge (mayday—send bread and milk), we have been researching and writing a five-part series of posts on flint fishhooks.  (We just heard a roar of laughter go up across Tennessee and the nation as we were typing the last part of that sentence.)  Yes, going into the matter, we too thought it would be a ridiculous topic that could be dispensed with in an easy, quick-and-dirty post.  However, as we proceeded on with our research, we quickly ran into a couple of totally unexpected things that, quite frankly, floored us with eye-crossing surprise.  Looking more deeply into those issues required additional time and effort—and resulted in even more surprise.  We are still doing some of the research, and we have completed about 70 percent of the writing in first draft form.  The title of this series is Flint Fishhooks and Ivory Soap.  Part I should be posted early next week.

This series of posts is part of our continuing 2015 effort to reach out to the average Tennessee citizen with information about archaeological issues (small and great) that often touch the lives of ordinary people in one way or another.  While writing Part I, we noted the fact that many ordinary Tennesseans have a cigar box full of lithic artifacts that were accumulated by various means during childhood.  We further noted that such boxes are sometimes Roi-Tan cigar boxes.  This brought to mind an old TV commercial for Roi-Tan cigars that dates back to the 1960s.  We were unable to find this particular commercial on You Tube or anywhere else on the Internet, but we do have some memory of it.  It was narrated by a young Hispanic woman with a sultry voice.  (No, it was not Edie Adams with a Spanish accent.  She was the spokesperson for Muriel cigars.)

Well, best as possible, we managed to recall the Roi-Tan slogan the Hispanic lady used, which was an abbreviated variation on a closely related slogan that went “Man to man—smoke a Roi-Tan.”  We also must note that some Roi-Tan cigar boxes during the 20th century were marked with “El Roi-Tan” instead of just “Roi-Tan.”  While writing about flint fishhooks, we were overcome with joy about this old commercial and decided to inject a small intermission item into the Part I post just for fun.  Unfortunately, it stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle of coldly serious archaeological writing—totally out of place.  Therefore, we decided to move it into this somewhat lighter post to have some fun.  If you feel inclined to do so, please join us in a little joy as we jointly pay vocal tribute to this old commercial and one type of informal Native American artifact curation box used by the average Tennessee child many years ago:

(Intermission: Just for fun, let us repeat this famous Roi-Tan cigar slogan from the 1960s and do it with our best sultry Spanish accents so the next-to-last, stretched-out syllable sucks hard on your uvula.  The phonetics are already provided.  All together now: “Mahn to mahn. El h’ r-r-r-r-r-oy Tahn!”  Many of you are probably too young to remember this old commercial.)

Yes, we sometimes go totally silly here at the blog,  However, we would hasten to add that the Archaeology in Tennessee blog is a strong supporter of Hispanic civil rights.  Never forget that most Hispanic people in the United States have a strong dose of Native American genes and culture, and Hispanic rights issues are, in a very real sense, Native American rights issues at their very roots.

Please come back and read our 5-part series of posts on flint fishhooks.  You too will be surprised and amazed by the same things we were.  Some of you will leave saying, “Oh my G… I would have never…”

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One thought on “Flint Fishhooks and Roi-Tan Cigars

  1. TIM felton

    In 1939 my great grandad came up with that slogan from Oklahoma and won a new car.. his name was Warren penn….could you help me …I have seen the photo with him and the car

    Reply

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