Southwestern Homes are often decorated with corbels. Today, they are mostly decorative, but are sometimes used as supports, placed on top of vigas. They may be used inside or outside the home, and are normally hand-carved or machine-made wooden décor.
When used as a support, their purpose is to dissipate the load of the beam onto the post. Many rustic corbels can be obtained from local craftsmen, who take pride in crafting them by hand. Each is a work of art, meant to add beauty and interest to the home. They may be cut square creating a stepped appearance, or carved, creating the appearance of a beak.
Several Southwestern Home Styles make use of these decorative features: