This gum comes from South and Central America, though it is not the true Copal of the Maya, which is a sticky white substance derived from Protium Copal. Commercial Copal derives from various types of Bursera trees that are native to the Americas and related to Frankincense and Myrrh. True Copal was and still is the most important incense of the Maya. It was equally sacred to the Aztecs and Incas who burnt it as their main offering to the Gods. It is now often substituted with the commercial Copal as true Copal trees are rare and the yields are low. Both types of Copal hold their place as sacred gums burnt for purification, protection against the evil eye and the demons of disease, healing, love and divination.
Since people first came together to honour the Gods and spirits of nature they used gums, resins and fragrant herbs to bring them closer to the divine beings and to give fragrant wings to their prayers. Every culture has their own sacred herbs that are particular to its region, yet, precious incense herbs and gums have also always been traded far beyond their country of origin.