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THE SERI INDIANS of Sonora Mexico

by Bernice Johnston

The Seri Situation Today

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As the situation exists today, the carving enterprise is carrying the load, carrying the Indians into the space age, carrying promise of a brighter Seri future.

If the major economic dependence is transferred from fishing to crafts, the strongest will be carving. This could mean that basketry will be ignored and a few more years could eliminate all knowledge of the basket-making craft. A scarcity of ironwood in the future might spell the end to the carving craft. By then, basketry skills may have been forgotten and the Seri would have no other crafts to call upon.

These unique Indians are on their way down a path of progress if we will continue to encourage them to keep up the quality of their carvings and basketry, and if we will pay them fair prices for their beautiful creations.

The Seri have been catapulted into a complex 20th century almost overnight. It would be a tragedy if their new economy were to collapse forcing their return to the sea and meager existence.

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The University of Arizona Press, 4/2/97 2:34PM