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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about A Further Contribution to the Study of the Mortuary Customs of the North American Indians.
crossed up wins a pile.  The following auxiliary throws entitle to another chance to win:  two plain ones up, two with black spots up, one half moon up, one longitudinally crossed one up, and buffalo’s head up gives another throw, and on this throw, if the two plain ones up and two with black spots with either of the half moons or buffalo’s head up, the player takes a pile.  Two plain ones up, two with black spots up, two half moons up, and the transversely crossed one up entitles to another throw, when, if all of the black sides come up, excepting one, the throw wins.  One of the plain ones up and all the rest with black sides up gives another throw, and the same then turning up wins.  One of the plain black ones up with that side up of all the others having the least black on gives another throw, when the same turning up again wins.  One half moon up, with that side up of all the others having the least black on gives another throw, and if the throw is then duplicated it wins.  The eighth seed, used by the men, has its place in their game whenever its facings are mentioned above.  I transmit with this paper a set of these figured seeds, which can be used to illustrate the game if desired.  These seeds are said to be nearly a hundred years old, and sets of them are now very rare.

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[101] 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[102] 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: 

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