Made by hand by the Tarahumara Indians, southwestern kiva ladders or southwest pueblo ladders are the traditional decorative log ladders that have been used in Indian pueblos for generations.
A Kiva ladder or Wooden Indian log ladders as they are called are one of the most interesting elements of southwest decor. While traveling or visiting in the southwest you will undoubtedly notice that wooden log southwest ladders have become one of the most universal symbols used throughout southwest design and art.
Kiva ladders are decorative pueblo ladders usually made of pine poles that have been hand scraped. The rungs of pueblo ladder are notched to fit into the upright poles and rawhide lacing is used to lash each joint together in a cross pattern. The ladder is narrower at the top than it is at the base which adds a dimension of height.
There's something interesting and intriguing about the grouping together of homes made of adobe with their wooden Indian ladders on the roofs. The shape has become an icon in design for southwest decorating and style.
Many homes in New Mexico and Arizona are built to imitate the design of the early pueblos and the kiva ladder is always an integral part. We find pueblos designed into rugs, dolls, pottery, paintings, art, and rustic furniture. And the rustic wooden ladders have become popular in cabins, log homes and also anywhere people like primitive or country style.
One great way to include the pueblo look and mood to your room without actually having pueblo designs is to use the same decorative southwest ladder or kiva log ladder. The ladders give a subtle but unmistakable Pueblo feel to the design.
A kiva ladder also creates a wonderful way to showcase a couple of your favorite southwest rugs or saddle blankets. Other elements that look great with wooden ladders are Navajo blankets, Indian pottery and drums, wooden dough bowls and rustic lamps with rawhide lamp shades.