New Mexico

Sabino's Map: Life in Chimayó's Old Plaza

Don J. Usner

Sabino's Map: Life in Chimayó's Old Plaza recounts and celebrates the history of the Plaza del Cerro, the only fully intact colonial plaza remaining in New Mexico. With its lively oral histories and rare historical photographs, Sabino's Map is the first in-depth look at perhaps the best known Hispanic village in the American Southwest. Sabino's Map provides a thorough cultural history of Chimayó, from prehistoric settlements to the current struggles of an isolated community in a modern and changing world. Through historical photographs, collections of documents preserved by author's family, and from the words and memories of the people who live there, Usner evokes a poignant sense of the colorful people who remember and continue to make the history of the Plaza del Cerro.


Don J. Usner was born and grew up in New Mexico. He earned his BA in biology and environmental studies at the University of California and his MA in cultural geography at the University of New Mexico. His books include Benigna's Chimayó: Cuentos from the Old Plaza and New Mexico Route 66 on Tour: Legendary Architecture from Glenrio to Gallup (Museum of New Mexico Press).


"A map of physical place and boundaries and space, and a map of time and the passing generations that have lived and worked and nurtured the profane and sacred area of Chimayó, former place of exile in colonial times, place of the Santuario and its miraculous holy dirt, place of orchards, home of weavers [and] tourist destination."


Santa Fe Reporter

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

8 x 9.875 in. 264 pages 85 black-and-white photographs