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tention of doctors has not been drawn to this insect before. I have invariably found that where there is stagnant water contaminated by drainage and decomposing vegetable or animal matter the sting of the mosquito that breeds in this water is very venomous and causes feverish symptoms. This fact is so well known to the Abyssinians that they never build their houses in the valleys where mosquitoes abound, but always place their dwellings on the summits of the nearest hills. When they work in the cultivated parts of these valleys they always surround their fields with very strong hedges, so that they need not remain at night to watch their crops, and even in the harvest time, at the dryest season of the year, they do not leave their houses in the morning until the mists in the valley clear away, and they always return to them before sunset, when the mosquito commences to come out.

Very little fever was known at Suakin before the Egyptian steamers commenced running there frequently; there were no mosquitoes in the place, and curtains to the beds were never used, although on the other side of the Red Sea, at Jeddah, sleep was impossible without them, and Jeddah is known also as a very feverish place. The mosquito was, there can be no doubt, imported from Suez in the fresh water brought thence in the water tanks of the Egyptian steamers for the use of the Egyptian officials. Now at Suakin the mosquito is quite common in the town, and so is fever, while outside the town fever and the insect are unknown.

By looking at the map of Abyssinia one will find the belts of tropical valley to be very few, and greater altitude in the center, along part of the Tacazze and Blue Nile Rivers, with a few of their tributaries. Sheltered and confined valleys in all parts of Abyssinia are, however, not nearly so healthy as the opener ones of greater altitude. A traveler need never spend more than a

night or two in unhealthy parts. It is, however, different with the sportsman; to enjoy the best of sport he must follow the game that inhabits the damp jungle, and during the rainy season he is lucky to escape a bout of fever.

With regard to the botany of Abyssinia, the greater part of the country has been thoroughly worked out, especially by the late Professor Schimper; his son, who traveled with me a good deal in the country, informs me, however, that his father did hardly any work in the eastern half of the country, and then only in the dry season; so there is still a great deal to be learned about the plants that are to be found in this part during the wet season and immediately after it. Geographical details of Abyssinia, such as the amount of rainfall over a series of years at different stations, are sadly wanted. The Italians can supply details of the north in the Hamasen, but there can be no doubt that central and southwestern Abyssinia have a much greater rainfall than the northern part of the country, and the extremes of temperature are also greater in these parts.

There is very little known about the geology of the country, and as it has been so broken up and shows such grand disturbances, its formation should be very varied and should contain many surprises, and minerals should no doubt be plentiful in some parts. Gold has been found in many places since the earliest times, but the centuries of anarchy and confusion which the country has undergone has prevented any thorough examination of the different districts in modern times, and from the time of the Axumite dynasty till 1895 Abyssinia never had a coinage of her own, so that there was no necessity to seek for the more precious metals.

Coal has been reported in several places, but I have seen nothing but black shale. I cannot say whether it exists in the west of the country round

Lake Tsana, as reported, as my journeys have always been in the eastern half of Abyssinia, and I am certain that no outcrop exists in this part, unless on the slopes toward the Danakil country, which I think highly improbable, owing to the volcanic formation.

There is here a large and very interesting field for scientific research, and many years must lapse before Abyssinia is thoroughly known; it is not likely, however, that it will be opened up while the power is all in the hands of one person. Italy will no doubt take her share in the development that is bound to come sooner or later, and her territories will be explored long before the rest of the coun


Unforeseen circumstances may arise which will allow an opening up of Abyssinia more speedily than the present prognosticates, but I hardly think that they are likely unless some radical change takes place within the next few years; in the meantime, however, the artist, archæologist, botanist, and others can do good work in learning more about the country and bringing its details before the public. From the lower classes they will receive a hearty welcome, as from a great many of the well-to-do people who wish to see their country opened up and an end put to the constant disputes that arise among the upper classes.



R. DAVID T. DAY, chief of the Division of Mineral Resources of the United States Geological Survey, contributes to the Review of Reviews for June an authoritative and interesting statement regarding the recent discovery of oil in the great States of Texas and California. The following paragraphs are taken from his article:

For some reason (for which a common cause would be difficult to find), the last year has been marked by petroleum crazes, unusually serious and in widely separated areas. Only a year ago the attention of those interested in extending our crude-petroleum resources was centered on the new fields in Roumania, which are destined to yield large supplies of oil. But even before this the development of West Virginia had been actually adding to our supplies far more oil and promises of more than Roumania or the more sensational developments abroad or at home. Then came the excitements of the Indian Territory. The importance of Califor

nia's oil fields in Ventura County, in Los Angeles, and in Santa Barbara, was increased tenfold by the discoveries in Kern County. Then all oildom went crazed again by the discovery of a great field in the region of Beaumont, Texas. One might condense the sensational reports of all these new oil fields by imagining that a tidal subterranean wave of oil had moved up toward the surface of the earth and found vent, first in California, then in Wyoming, and finally in Texas!

The California discovery is likely, of all those which have been mentioned, to be of greatest value; not for quantity of oil, but for the development of the country. California has been poorly supplied with fuel in comparison with Pennsylvania or Ohio or any of the States where cheap coal has developed enormous industrial enterprises. California cannot continue as a great commonwealth, past the agricultural or even more temporary treasure-mining stage, without a great supply of fuel. It is at least partially afforded by the Bakers

field oil, and it will be the work of the United States Geological Survey this year to so correlate the various oil-bearing strata on the Pacific Slope as to make further discoveries probable.

Traces of oil have been found in California from Mendocino County on the coast (and extending inland a few miles) southward nearly to the southern extremity of the State. Usually the finds have been merely of traces, not even sufficient to cause an excitement; but in the southern part of the State the deposits of thick oils in Ventura County prove sufficient to furnish valuable amounts of fuel. In the city of Los Angeles and at Anaheim the discoveries were sufficient to arouse the usual wild excitement. The feature of this Los Angeles excitement was the finding of many wells, most of them productive only to a moderate extent, the aggregate unimportant for the general supply.

A remarkable feature of the oil industry in California has been the discovery that off the coast of Santa Barbara oil could be obtained by drilling under the Pacific Ocean, near the beach, and this added considerably to the supply of oil, all of it peculiar in being thick, containing as a characteristic a considerable quantity of asphaltum and not yielding paraffine wax by the ordinary processes of refining. It has been possible by refining to obtain kerosene from this ordinary California oil, but not economically.

Within the last two years a marked change has taken place in the economic phase by the discovery, first at Coalinga, in Fresno County, of lighter oil, much more promising to the refiner, and this was followed by similar discoveries, but on a larger scale, in the neighborhood of Bakersfield, in Kern County. The result of these discoveries is well indicated by the fact that there are now over 1,100 oil locations in the State of California, of which 600 are near

Bakersfield. The excitement has been sufficient to make oil prospecting more popular than gold prospecting, which has continued in California without cessation since 1849. The oil from these newly discovered fields in Fresno and Kern counties will undoubtedly admit. of refining for the production of illuminants, but the great value such finds in California will be in providing a large supply of power-producing fuel. Further, it must be remembered that the great progress in hydraulic engineering in California will not only supplement this oil fuel by extremely progressive use of water-power, but the same means by which water-power has been carried long distances at phenomenally low cost will be applied to developing our pipeline systems beyond their present efficiency in the East.

Had it not been for the unfavorable experience in refining the California. oils, with their great percentage of asphaltum, the discovery of oils somewhat similar in Texas would have been more auspicious. Nevertheless, this Texas discovery, with which every one is more or less familiar, is certain to exert as powerful an influence on the petroleum industry in general as the California oils will have upon the local industrial conditions of a State. The accidental discovery of moderate supplies of petroleum at Corsicana, Texas, a few years. ago was sufficient to attract the attention of oil men to that State and to have near at hand experienced men and apparatus for well drilling when the final discovery of Captain Lucas, near Beaumont, announced a really great oil field. The details of this discovery are interesting. To Capt. Anthony F. Lucas is due the fact that this discovery was made last year, and not many years later, as would have been consistent with normal development. Captain Lucas visited the writer in Washington, and asked his aid in interesting the oil fraternity to help him in drilling a well at

Beaumont, Texas, where he felt sure that a profitable field would be developed. The reports of the United States Geological Survey indicated at that time the probability of finding oil in this vicinity, because of the external oil indications which had long been observed there; but it was not the province of the Survey to promote any individual locality; therefore Captain Lucas sought further, and without much success.

While the Texas oil-fever is still at its speculative height, the same excitement has broken out in a new spot-western Wyoming-on the Oregon Short Line Railroad. The construction work of the railroad company developed a flowing well which, when allowance is made for the enormous exaggeration which inevitably follows in this industry, yields perhaps five barrels per day. The result has been the incorporation


of many companies to take up tracts of heretofore very low-priced land. lack of confidence of the present speculators is well shown by their inactivity as to actual drilling. Nevertheless, we can recognize that geological conditions are favorable for a considerable supply of petroleum in this neighborhood of the ordinary easily refined quality-a fact which is only of considerable interest to the public it the developments cause the typical sensation-producing "gushers," in which case the excitement will be of value by peopling a region which would otherwise remain undeveloped for many years. We already know of good oil fields in the neighborhood of Casper, Wyoming, and in many other portions of the State, but they have lacked sensationalism and have been subject to conservative development by careful men.



EVERAL years since Prof. W J McGee and Mr. Willard D. Johnson passed several months in the land of the Seri, studying the country. and the customs of these little-known people.

A brief summary by Mr. McGee of the work then done appeared later in this Magazine (volume vii, No. 4). The Bureau of American Ethnology has recently published in a handsome volume. the official report of Professor McGee, from which the following extracts are made:

The most noticeable social fact revealed about the Seri rancherias is the prominence of the females, especially the elderwomen, in the management of everyday affairs. The matrons erect the jacales without help from men or boys; they carry the meager belongings of the family and dispose them about

the habitation in conformity with general custom and immediate convenience, and after the household is prepared the men approach and range themselves about, apparently in a definite order, the matron's eldest brother coming first, the younger brothers next, and finally the husband, who squats in or outside of the open end of the bower. According to Mashém's iterated explanations, which were corroborated by several elderwomen (notably the clan-mother known to the Mexicans as Juana Maria) and verified by observation of the family movements, the house and its contents belong exclusively to the matron, though her brothers are entitled to places within it whenever they wish; while the husband has neither title nor fixed place, "because he belongs to another house "-though, as a matter of fact, he is frequently at or in the hut

of his spouse, where he normally occupies the outermost place in the group and acts as a sort of outer guard or sentinel. Conformably to their proprietary position, the matrons have chief, if not sole, voice in extending and removing the rancheria; and such questions as that of the placement of a new jacal are discussed animatedly among them and are finally decided by the dictum of the eldest in the group. The importance of the function thus exercised by the women has long been noted at Costa Rica and other points on the Seri frontier, for the rancherias are located and the initial jacal is erected commonly by a solitary matron, sometimes by two or three aged dames; around this nucleus other matrons and their children gather in the course of a day or two; while it is usually three or four days, and sometimes a week, before the brothers and husbands skulk singly or in small bands into the new rancheria.


The most striking and significant social facts discovered among the Seri relate to marriage customs.

As noted repeatedly elsewhere, the tribal population is preponderantly feminine, so that polygyny naturally prevails; the number of wives reaches three or possibly four, averaging about two, though the younger warriors commonly have but one, and there are always a number of spouseless (widowed) dames, but no single men of marriageable age. So far as could be ascertained, no special formalities attend the taking of supernumerary wives, who are usually widowed sisters of the first spouse. It seems to be practically a family affair, governed by considerations of convenience rather than established regulations-an irregularity combining with other facts to suggest that polygyny is incidental, and perhaps of comparatively recent origin.

The primary mating of the Seri is at

tended by observances so elaborate as to show that marriage is one of the profoundest sacraments of the tribe, penetrating the innermost recesses of tribal thought, and interwoven with the essential fibers of tribal existence. Few, if any, other peoples devote such anxious care to their mating as do the Seri,* and among no other known tribe or folk is the moral aspect of conjugal union so rigorously guarded by collective action and individual devotion.

The initial movement toward formal marriage seems to be somewhat indefinite (or perhaps, rather, spontaneous). According to Mashém, it may be made either by the prospective groom or by his father, though not directly by the maiden or her kinswomen. In any event the prerequisites for the union are provisionally determined in the suitor's family. These relate to the suitability of age, the propriety of the clan relation, etc., for no stripling may seriously contemplate matrimony until he has entered manhood (apparently corresponding with the warrior class), nor can he mate in his own totem, though all other clans of the tribe are apparently open to him, while the maiden must have passed (apparently by a considerable time) her puberty feast. In any event, too, the proposal is formally conveyed by the elderwoman of the suitor's family to the maiden's clanmother, when it is duly pondered, first by this dame and her daughter matrons, and later (if the proposal is entertained) it is deliberated and discussed at length by the matrons of the two clans involved, who commonly hold repeated councils for the purpose. At an undetermined stage and to an undetermined degree the maiden herself is consulted; certainly she holds the power of veto, ostensible if not actual. Pend

* Perhaps the closest parallel in this respect is that found in the elaborate marriage regulations prevailing among the Australian aborigines, as described by Spencer and Gillen, Walter E. Roth, and other modern observers.

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