Copal is a name given to tree resins from a variety of genera; many of which are identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense. More generally, the term copal describes resinous substances in an intermediate stage of polymerization and hardening between "gummier" resins and amber. The word copal is derived from the Nahuatl word copalli, meaning "incense". Copal has long been used in ancient Maya and Aztec ceremonies as a ritual offering to the gods. It is still used by a number of indigenous people in southern Mexico and Central America during sweat lodge ceremonies as well as sacred mushroom ceremonies. Copal is also found in East Africa and Indonesia.
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