Copal Oro (Gold) Incense Resin
Copal resin is a dried tree sap that is often burned as incense by cultures indigenous to Central and South America. It is said to be used in Mexico during the Day of the Dead to help souls find their way back home. It is believed that the smoke from burning copal helps protect against sickness and purifies the body.
Usage by Native Americans was very limited as the resin was collected from the Elephant Tree (Bursera microphylla) which is limited to a very small geographic region of the Sonoran Desert, mostly in an area that is now part of Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California. The Cahuilla are known to have collected it and believed it had great power. One informant remembered that the red sap was used for curing and was rubbed on the body of the patient. The power of the sap was believed to be so strong that it was too dangerous to be kept openly and was always hidden.
Our copal is imported and not taken from the trees that are very rare in the United States. Copal pieces vary in size, ranging from a few millimeters to about 1/2 inch. This size is easy to use as incense. A few copal pieces are placed on lit charcoal tablets such as our Swift Light brand to burn the resin and release its aroma.