The Mongols provided artisans with a higher status than was
the case in many societies.
Traditional Chinese officials, for example, had prized the
goods made by craftsmen but accorded the craftsmen themselves
a relatively low social status. The Mongols altered this perception
of craftsmen and offered them special concessions and privileges
[also see The
Mongols in China: Life for Artisans under Mongol Rule].
In addition, the Mongols in China established a tremendous
array of government offices to supervise the production of
craft articles. About one half of the 80 agencies in the Ministry
of Works during the Mongol era dealt with the production and
collection of textiles. There were also offices for bronzes,
and offices of gold and silver utensils.