El Desemboque (Seri: Haxöl Iihom) is a town located 376 km from Hermosillo on the shore of Gulf of California in the Mexican state of Sonora; coordinates N 29° 30' 13", W 112° 23' 43". It is part of the Municipality of Pitiquito, and is one of two major villages on the Seri Indian communal property, the other being Punta Chueca. The Spanish name refers to the fact that the (generally dry) Río San Ignacio meets the sea near that point. The Seri name is literally where the clams lie. It has been a good location to find the small clams Protothaca grata (haxöl). According to the Mexican census of 2010, the town (officially a locality, or localidad) had a population of 287 inhabitants. (The town of El Desemboque described in the prior text is not located in the Pitiquito municipality of Sonora. It is a Seri village about 120 km north of Punta Chueca north of Bahia Kino where the dry Rio Ignacio meets the Gulf of California. The El Desemboque in Pitiquito is west of Caborca at the mouth of Rio Concepcion and is a small village catering to weekenders from Caborca. The Seri (Kunka'ak) may have lived at the El Desemboque (river mouth) west of present-day Caborca in prehistoric times before Spanish arrived as well as the current Seri town north of Bahia Kino. Their oral history has them living as far north as present day Puerto Penasco which was also an O'Odham settlement as well as present-day Bahia Kino and Isla Tiburon (shark island).)
El Desemboque is thought to have been originally located about 2 kilometers to the north of its present location. At some point, probably in the 1930s, it was moved to its current location which offered better protection for the developing fleet of small skiffs (local Spanish, pangas) that the Seris used for commercial fishing. El Desemboque was the center of political and cultural activities until the early 1970s. After the construction of the highway linking Bahía de Kino to Hermosillo by the year 1953 (Sonora State Highway 100), the small community of Punta Chueca to the south (and closer to Bahía de Kino) rose in prominence to become the focal point of Seri political life.
El Desemboque remains a thriving community with commercial fishing and artisanal crafts as the two major economic activities. The village is home to a primary school, cultural center and small clinic as well as one of Mexico's oldest fishing cooperatives.
Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 32 states which comprise the Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border primarily with the state of Arizona with a small length with New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.
Hermosillo, formerly called Pitic, is a city located centrally in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora. It is the capital and largest city as well as the main economic center for the state and region. As of 2015, the city has a population of 812,229 inhabitants, making it the 16th largest city in Mexico. The recent city population spur is due to its recent strong industrialization, especially in the automotive industry.
Puerto Peñasco is a resort town located in Puerto Peñasco Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora, 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the border with the U.S. state of Arizona. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 62,177 inhabitants. It is located on the northern shores of the Sea of Cortez on the small strip of land that joins the Baja California Peninsula with the rest of Mexico. The area is part of the Altar Desert, one of the driest and hottest areas of the larger Sonoran Desert.
Sonoyta, Sonora is a town in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. It stands on the U.S.-Mexico border, facing Lukeville, Arizona, in the United States. It is the municipal seat of the municipality of Plutarco Elías Calles.
Eusebio Francisco Kino was an Italian Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer born in the Territory of the Bishopric of Trent, then part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. For the last 24 years of his life he worked in the region then known as the Pimería Alta, modern-day Sonora in Mexico and southern Arizona in the United States. He explored the region and worked with the indigenous Native American population, including primarily the Tohono O'Odham, Sobaipuri and other Upper Piman groups. He proved that the Baja California Peninsula is not an island by leading an overland expedition there. By the time of his death he had established 24 missions and visitas.
The Seri are an indigenous group of the Mexican state of Sonora. The majority reside on the Seri communal property, in the towns of Punta Chueca and El Desemboque on the mainland coast of the Gulf of California. Tiburón Island (Tahejöc) and San Esteban Island were also part of their traditional territory. They were historically seminomadic hunter-gatherers who maintained an intimate relationship with both the sea and the land. They are one of the ethnic groups of Mexico that has most strongly maintained their language and culture throughout the years after contact with Spanish and Mexican cultures.
The Spanish missions in the Sonoran Desert are a series of Jesuit Catholic religious outposts established by the Spanish Catholic Jesuits and other orders for religious conversions of the Pima and Tohono O'odham indigenous peoples residing in the Sonoran Desert. An added goal was giving Spain a colonial presence in their frontier territory of the Sonora y Sinaloa Province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and relocating by Indian Reductions settlements and encomiendas for agricultural, ranching, and mining labor.
Tiburón Island is the largest island in the Gulf of California and the largest island in Mexico, with an area of 1,201 square kilometres (464 sq mi). It was made a nature reserve in 1963 by President Adolfo López Mateos.
Bahía de Kino is a town in the Mexican state of Sonora, Hermosillo (municipality), on the Sea of Cortez ; it was named after Eusebio Kino. The name also applies to the adjacent bay between Tiburón Island and Punta San Nicolás, Sonora. The names Bahía de Kino, Bahía Kino and Kino Bay are used interchangeably.
Edward W. Moser (1924–1976) was an American linguist and expert in the Seri language and culture working with the Summer institute of Linguistics.
Caborca is the municipal seat of the Caborca Municipality in the Mexican state of Sonora. The city has a population of 59,922, while the municipal population was 85,631 as of 2015. Municipal boundaries are with Pima County, Arizona in the United States of America in the north, Altar in the east, Pitiquito in the southeast, Puerto Peñasco and Plutarco Elías Calles in the northwest, and the Gulf of California in the southwest. Caborca lies on Federal Highway 2, which connects the state's capital Hermosillo with the cities of Mexicali and Tijuana in the state of Baja California.
Pitiquito is a small town in Pitiquito Municipality in the northwest of the Mexican state of Sonora.
Punta Chueca is a Seri town located on the Gulf of California in the Mexican state of Sonora. It is located 25 kilometers north of the fishing and tourist town of Bahía de Kino. Both of these towns are part of the Municipality of Hermosillo. One of the two villages on the Seri Indian communal property, it has small stores, a primary school and a small satellite-fed secondary school (telesecundaria). It is one of the closest points on the mainland to Tiburón Island, separated from it by the Canal del Infiernillo. According to the Mexican census of 2010, the town, had a population of 520 inhabitants.
Sonora State Highway 100 is a highway in the center of the Mexican state of Sonora.
Mary Margaret Beck Moser was an American field linguist and Bible translator who worked on behalf of the Seri people of Mexico for more than fifty years. She authored and co-authored numerous articles and two books about the language and culture of that group and brought to completion the translation of the New Testament in the Seri language.
Hermosillo is a municipality in Sonora in north-western Mexico. The municipal seat is the city of Hermosillo.
Pitiquito Municipality is a municipality in Sonora in north-western Mexico.
Mexican ironwood carving is a Mexican tradition of carving the wood of the Olneya tesota tree, a Sonora Desert tree commonly called ironwood.
The Tiburón Island Tragedy occurred in 1905 when three members of a small American gold prospecting expedition went missing in the Sonoran Desert near Tiburón Island. At the time, Tiburon was inhabited by the Seri natives, who were widely believed to have been responsible for the fate of the expedition. There were also Yaqui renegades active in the area, and there were rumors about their involvement as well. However, the sole American survivor, Jack Hoffman, said that lack of water was most likely the cause. Of the five-man expedition, the leader, Thomas F. Grindell, and two of his associates disappeared while the other two men survived, including a Papago guide, who left the journey early on. A prolonged search for the missing men then commenced. Led by Edward P. Grindell, search parties uncovered several artifacts that had belonged to members of the expedition, as well as evidence of their fate, but no trace of the men themselves was found. It was not until over a year later that the remains of Thomas Grindell were discovered by another group of explorers. Evidence at the scene seemed to confirm that dehydration was the cause of death.
Felger, R. S. and M. B. Moser. 1991. People of the desert and sea. Ethnobotany of the Seri Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona
Griffen, William. B. 1959. Notes on Seri Indian Culture, Sonora, Mexico. Latin American Monographs 10. Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
Yetman, David. 1988. Where the Desert meets the Sea: a trader in the lands of the Seri Indians. Tucson: Pepper Publishing.
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