1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sinaloa

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SINALOA, a N. state of Mexico, bounded N. by Sonora and Chihuahua, E. by Durango, S. by Tepic, and W. by the Gulf of California, with a coast line of nearly 400 m. Area, 33,671 sq. m. Pop. (1900), 296,701, largely Indians. The surface consists of a narrow coastal zone where tropical conditions prevail, a broad belt of mountainous country covered by the ranges of the Sierra Madre Occidental and their intervening valleys where oak and pine forests are to be found, and an intervening zone among the foothills of the Sierra Madre up to an elevation of 2000 ft., where the conditions are subtropical. The state is traversed by numerous streams, the largest of which have broad valleys among the foothills. The largest of these are the Culiacán, Fuerte and Sinaloa, the last two having short navigable courses across the lowlands.

Rain is plentiful everywhere, except in the extreme north, where the conditions are arid. The climate of the low-lying coast lands is hot and malarious, but in the mountains it is cool and healthy. Cereals and mezcal are produced on the uplands, and sugar, rum, coffee, tobacco, grape spirits and fruit in the lower zones. There are excellent cotton lands in the state and the production of this staple was largely developed during the American Civil War, but it has since declined. Grazing receives considerable attention in the uplands, where the temperature is favourable and the pastureage good, and hides are largely exported. Mining, however, is the chief industry, Sinaloa being one of the richest mineral-producing states in the republic. Gold, silver, copper, iron and lead are found. There are also salt deposits and mineral springs. The best-known silver mines are the Rosario, from which about $90,000,000 had been extracted up to the last decade of the 19th century, and the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de los Reyes, discovered early in the 19th century and yielding over $85,000,000 before its close. The forest products of the state include rubber, resins, cabinet and dye-woods, deerskins, orchilla and ixtle fibre. Up to the beginning of the 20th century Sinaloa had only one short railway, which connected Culiacán with its port Altata. Since then the Mexican branch of the (American) Southern Pacific railway from Nogales to Guaymas has been extended S.E. along the coast. Sinaloa has excellent natural harbours, only two of which—Mazatlán and Altata—are much used. The bays of Agiobampo and Topolobampo are prospective railway terminals with fine harbours. The capital of the state is Culiacán Rosales (commonly called Culiacán), on the Culiacán river 59 m. from its port, Altata, at the mouth of the same river, with which it is connected by rail. It is a well-built town, with some thriving manufactures, including cotton goods, cigarettes, liqueurs, &c. It is the see of a bishop and has a fine cathedral. Culiacán (pop. in 1900, 10,380) is the distributing centre for a large district between Guaymas and Mazatlán. The most important town is Mazatlán, one of the leading ports of Mexico on the Pacific coast, and the commercial centre for S. Sinaloa and N. Durango. Other towns are Mocorito (pop. 9971 in 1895), Sinaloa and Fuerte, all in the N. of the state, Rosario (pop. 8448 in 1900), and San Ignacio in the S.