For assisting in obtaining this account Dr. McChesney acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. C.C. Miller, physician to the Sisseton Indian Agency.
Figures 35 to 45 represent the appearance of the plum stones and the different throws; these have been carefully drawn from the set of stones sent by Dr. McChesney.
These are placed at the head or foot of the grave, or at both ends, and have painted or carved on them a history of the deceased or his family, certain totemic characters, or, according to Schoolcraft, not the achievements of the dead, but of those warriors who assisted and danced at the interment. The northwest tribes and others frequently plant poles near the graves, suspending therefrom bite of rag, flags, horses’ tails, &c. The custom among the present Indians does not exist to any extent. Beltrami speaks of it as follows:
Here I saw a most singular union. One of these graves was surmounted by a cross, whilst upon another close to it a trunk of a tree was raised, covered with hieroglyphics recording the number of enemies slain by the tenant of the tomb and several of his tutelary Manitous.
The following extract from Schoolcraft relates to the burial posts used by the Sioux and Chippewas. Figure 40 is after the picture given by this author in connection with the account quoted: