This obscure word, incón, also written as encón, is a colloquial New Mexican term for a bay or a cove. It can also be a beach, as in a riverbank. Or it can be a bend in a river, where a pool has formed; also a sandbar rising in the middle of a river or stream. It is a remnant of antique Spanish. Gaspar Castaño de Sosa, in his Memorias de descubrimiento (Memoirs of Discovery) of 1590–91, writes: “On the thirteenth of said month, we left our paraje [camp] and we went to sleep three leagues from there; in an encón was the village we had departed from, a league away from us.”

Luis Alberto Urrea