Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/555914
Title:
Chollas, Circles and Seris: Did Seri Indians Plant Cactus at Circle 6
Author:
Bowen, Thomas; Felger, Richard S.; Hills, R. James
Affiliation:
The Southwest Center, University of Arizona; Drylands Institute; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Publisher:
University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Journal:
Desert Plants
Rights:
Copyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.
Collection Information:
Desert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.
Issue Date:
Dec-2004
Abstract:
On November 26, 1966, during an archaeological survey, one of us (Bowen) and Stephen D. Hayden discovered a circle of stones on Punta Santa Rosa, a prominent point of land on the coast of mainland Sonora, Mexico (Figure 1 ). This in itself was not remarkable because they had encountered other circles previously. What was noteworthy was that this particular circle was surrounded by a ring of small jumping cholla cacti (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. fulgida) that seemed obviously planted. Punta Santa Rosa lies within the historic territory of the Seri (or Comcaac) Indians, and Bowen and Hayden knew that the Seris had used stone circles as part of the traditional vision quest. But since the Seris were considered a nonagricultural hunting-gathering-fishing people, the association of a presumably Seri circle with cacti that appeared intentionally planted seemed incongruous. At that time, however, Bowen and Hayden did nothing more with this odd feature than photograph it, give it the prosaic designation "Circle 6", and pass it off in an archaeological report as probably just an unusual Seri vision ring (Bowen 1976: 40). They did not anticipate that Circle 6 would continue to pose an ethnobotanical puzzle and one day provide an object lesson in archaeological interpretation. But puzzle it was. In this paper we reexamine Circle 6 in light of the known history of Seri planting. We consider several hypotheses, some of them proposed by modern Seris, about the circle's age, cultural identity, and function. We conclude that the original interpretation of Circle 6 as a vision ring is incorrect but that the peculiar cholla ring most likely does constitute a case of purposeful Seri planting.
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0734-3434

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorBowen, Thomasen
dc.contributor.authorFelger, Richard S.en
dc.contributor.authorHills, R. Jamesen
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-27T16:37:35Zen
dc.date.available2015-05-27T16:37:35Zen
dc.date.issued2004-12en
dc.identifier.issn0734-3434en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/555914en
dc.description.abstractOn November 26, 1966, during an archaeological survey, one of us (Bowen) and Stephen D. Hayden discovered a circle of stones on Punta Santa Rosa, a prominent point of land on the coast of mainland Sonora, Mexico (Figure 1 ). This in itself was not remarkable because they had encountered other circles previously. What was noteworthy was that this particular circle was surrounded by a ring of small jumping cholla cacti (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. fulgida) that seemed obviously planted. Punta Santa Rosa lies within the historic territory of the Seri (or Comcaac) Indians, and Bowen and Hayden knew that the Seris had used stone circles as part of the traditional vision quest. But since the Seris were considered a nonagricultural hunting-gathering-fishing people, the association of a presumably Seri circle with cacti that appeared intentionally planted seemed incongruous. At that time, however, Bowen and Hayden did nothing more with this odd feature than photograph it, give it the prosaic designation "Circle 6", and pass it off in an archaeological report as probably just an unusual Seri vision ring (Bowen 1976: 40). They did not anticipate that Circle 6 would continue to pose an ethnobotanical puzzle and one day provide an object lesson in archaeological interpretation. But puzzle it was. In this paper we reexamine Circle 6 in light of the known history of Seri planting. We consider several hypotheses, some of them proposed by modern Seris, about the circle's age, cultural identity, and function. We conclude that the original interpretation of Circle 6 as a vision ring is incorrect but that the peculiar cholla ring most likely does constitute a case of purposeful Seri planting.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherUniversity of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)en
dc.rightsCopyright © Arizona Board of Regents. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.sourceCALS Publications Archive. The University of Arizona.en_US
dc.titleChollas, Circles and Seris: Did Seri Indians Plant Cactus at Circle 6en_US
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentThe Southwest Center, University of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.departmentDrylands Instituteen
dc.contributor.departmentArizona-Sonora Desert Museumen
dc.identifier.journalDesert Plantsen
dc.description.collectioninformationDesert Plants is published by The University of Arizona for the Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum. For more information about this unique botanical journal, please email the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Publications Office at pubs@cals.arizona.edu.en_US
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