National Geographic : 1896 Apr
SERILAND The coast of Seriland has been surveyed, and long ago a pearl fishery was maintained for a time on its borders near Punta Tepopa. There is a tradition that Sergeant Escalante (he who later swam the Gila and saw Casa Grande) wandered into the bounding desert in the seventeenth century, and dug a shallow well which still yields a yellow nitrous water and is known some times as Poso Escalante, sometimes as Agua Amarillo; and there are vague rumors of prospectors and other parties landing on island and mainland, but soon retreating with loss of life from poisoned arrow or still more poignant thirst. It is known, too, from living witnesses that Sr Pascual Encinas pushed stock raising well toward the desert and sometimes even across it to the saline waters at the eastern base of Sierra Seri, the Indians contenting themselves with a heavy impost of surreptitiously slaughtered stock, and that he twice or oftener visited Tiburon once with a small party for a few hours, once with a larger party, including horses transported by a steam vessel, for two or three days; but until 1895 (when Encinas' trustiest assistants were added to our party and taken far beyond their previous knowl edge) the interior, continental and insular, was never surveyed, most of it never seen by white men. The previously published nomenclature is adopted so far as it goes, together with a part of the unpublished field nomenclature of the Hydrographic Office, save for a few trifling exceptions mostly made with the object of expressing the generic elements in the language of Mexico (articles being omitted for brevity). So far as practicable the specific elements, especially on the insular tract, are Seri, the accents being indicated here but not on the map. It has been sought to use names originally con notive yet of such character as readily to become denotive, due regard being given to euphony and brevity-qualities not easily found among the simple-minded savages. The names applied are as follows, those marked by asterisks being new and those marked by.obelisks being recast: * Seriland : Extra-vernacular name of tribe with English locative. Mar de Cortez (Sea of Cortez = Gulf of California) : Customary Spanish designation. t Isla Tiburon (Shark island): Spanish. t Isla San Esteban (Saint Stephen island): Spanish. t Isla Tass'ne (Pelican island): Specific Seri (sometimes called Alcatraz = Pelican in Spanish). Estrecho [or El Infiernillo (Hellish strait) : Spanish.