A significant portion of Maya elites, both men and women, engaged in artistic creation and craft production at Aguateca, and they were often involved in independent and attached production. Artistic and craft production appears to have been a common pursuit among classic Maya elites at Aguateca, including courtiers of the highest rank and even members of the royal family. They manufactured not only luxury goods and weaponry but also utilitarian items for consumption both within and outside the household. Items produced included wood carvings and hide or leather goods. Because of this, several kinds of craft production overlapped in various households. At the same time, particular households and individuals emphasized specific artistic creation and craft activities. One household might carve stelae for the ruler, while another might have an emphasis on shell and bone objects of high symbolic value. It is likely that elite women actively participated in these types of production, engaging in stone carving in collaboration with nobel men. Artistic creation, as well as the garnering of ideological, religious, and esoteric production knowledge, were important in exclusionary tactics and elite identity.
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