What Were Some Mayan Arts and Crafts?

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Pottery and stone carving are two of the most notable Mayan arts and crafts. Without the use of a pottery wheel, the Mayans created intricately designed vases, plates and pots by coiling consecutive rings of clay on top of each other and smoothing the surface by hand. Other pottery artifacts were made with complex molds, and most types of pottery were brightly painted to depict events in everyday Mayan life.

Expansive murals on buildings and caves were completed during the Mayan period using vegetable- and mineral-based colorants. Stone carving was done as well. Many of the stone buildings of the Mayans had intricately carved facades with images of Mayan kings. Most carved objects were in some way connected to the Mayan religion. The Mayans also carved wood, obsidian, bone, shells, jade and other stones. Metalworking was a highly advanced craft of the time; however, supplies were fairly limited, and metalworking was confined to the making of ornaments.

The arts and crafts of the Mayans reflected both their lifestyle and their culture. They were also used largely for trade with others. Mayan arts and crafts are thought to have accentuated the halls of both the kings and the common people alike.