Guatemalan/Mayan Pom Resin Disks in Palm/Bananna leaves
Our Friend Ernesto Ortiz brought these rolls of hand crafted disks of ground resins and herbs to our attention. They are very interesting and beautifully wrapped in Palm leaves just as they came from the rainforest. 20-30 disks in each 10" roll.
"The discs are made in Guatemala outside of the village of Panajachel. They are all hand made by indigenous Mayan people and they are a mixture of copal, myrrh, frankincense and other natural resins.
They are primordially used in ceremony to bless, and cleanse homes or businesses. It is said that the fragrance of these disks pushes away or removes negative spirits and at the same time the fragrance invites or brings in the good spirits. "
"Frequently copal in Guatemala is sold in disc form as wafers wrapped in banana leaf or maize husk packages. the tortilla shaped wafers are approximately the size and shape of some of the Classic Maya jade discs, and there is likely to be a symbolic relationship between these two different forms of metaphorical "food".
The Mam Maya of highland Guatemala maintain a ritual cycle called pomixi 'copal of maize' that has been well described (Wagley 1957), and part of which consists of dripping sacrificial blood on copal that is then used to cense seed maize before planting. Smoking seed maize with copal is commonly found in other Mesoamerican communities, as well, and constitutes another important symbolic link between maize and copal. According to the Ixil Mayans of highland Guatemala, miniature "tortillas" of copal wrapped in corn husks--are seen as food for the gods (Figure 4). "Though the gods do not eat as mortals do, they must imbibe the products of human ritual, primarily the smoke of incense" (Colby and Colby 1981:42). Whereas the Lacandón consider pom--the usual Mayan name for copal, which is itself a borrowing from Mixe-Zoquean--to be "tortillas" of the gods, Zinacantan Tzotzil Mayans living in the central highlands of Chiapas say that white wax candles are the deities' "tortillas" (Vogt 1969:403), but they make offerings of burning incense to the gods as well, placing chips of copal wood or sprinkling nodules of copal resin on a censer bearing burning embers. Two types of copal (Tzotzil pom) are distinguished by the Zinacantecos; "genuine incense" derived from Bursera excelsa or Bursera tomentosa trees , and "mud incense" derived from Bursera bipinnata "
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