THE PURPOSE of this work was to survey eastern Sonora in an attempt to determine what, if anything, remains of the aboriginal groups to that area.
In the course of the survey, all settlements larger than small ranches in the old Opata and Jova area were covered, with the exception of those in the upper Bavispe Valley above Huásabas, Bacoachi and Chinapa north of Arispe, the town of Alamos south of Ures, and Soyopa on the Yaqui River. Unless otherwise indicated, all settlements mentioned in this paper were visited at least once. I feel justified in including data from towns not visited since residents of these towns were encountered and interviewed. Using Tepupa as a base, I covered the Valley of Sahuaripa and adjoining portions of the Sierra Madre into Chihuahua in addition to the Valley of Batuc. The San Miguel, Mátape, Bacanora, and middle Yaqui river valleys were visited several times, as was the Moctezuma area. Less information was collected from the upper portions of the Sonora Valley, so the coverage there is less complete than in the other sectors of Opata Sonora.
Whenever possible I stayed with Indian families and gathered data from both Indian and non-Indian residents of the area. Interviews were both formal and informal. The language used was exclusively Spanish. This paper is a synthesis of these data in addition to those gained by personal observation.
I am indebted to E. H. Spicer for his direction, his suggestions and encouragement. The manuscript was critically read by Dr. Ralph Beals of the University of California at Los Angeles and by Mrs. Paul Ezell of San Diego, California. The help of both is gratefully acknowledged. At the time of this survey Roger C. Owen was studying a community of Indian background in northern-central Sonora. I am grateful to him for numerous useful comments and suggestions. In addition, the interest and encouragement of Mrs. Clara Lee Tanner and Dr. Harry Getty of the University of Arizona are much appreciated. Finally, I wish to acknowledge my debt to the many Sonorans for their hospitality and interested cooperation.
This paper is the result of field work undertaken between April and August, 1955 and in June of 1956 through a Comin's Fund fellowship from the Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona and under the direction of Dr. E. H. Spicer of that department.
THOMAS B. HINTON University of California July 1, 1959