Zanzibar Copal-Hymenaea Verrucosa-Madagascar-For Incense-Craft & Art-Sustainable Harvest

Zanzibar Copal-Hymenaea Verrucosa-Madagascar-For Incense-Craft & Art-Sustainable Harvest
Brand: Etsy - ApothecarysGarden
Color: Grey
6.77 GBP
Buy Now

Zanzibar Copal. Hymenea verrucosa-Madagascar. Sustainable harvest - Collected from the ground. Zanzibar Copal is a very pretty, semi-translucent, hard & brittle exudate of the Hymenea verrucosa tree. It generates the loveliest tinkling sound when shaken in the hand. The tinkle is an indication of its hardness & durability as a varnish & protective surface treatment for wood. & for this reason, it is much sought after. As an incense ingredient, it creates a wonderful, warm, sweet, old-wood, soft smoke that I find deeply comforting & calming. Blended with other aromatics it softens the harsh edges of rawer ingredients, (fresh conifers, Elemis etc.), & pulls an incense blend together. This is the same tree that brings us our Manzirufu seed pods, (see here-, which are used in the Malagasy Tromba ritual where ancestors are petitioned, (usually through possession) to share their advice & wise counsel. Though this tree does grow in Zanzibar & other areas of East Africa, the Madagascar variety is not fossilized & does not accumulate for thousands of years beneath the trees due to differences in soil composition. These pieces are relatively fresh & likely only hundreds of years old. One will on occasion find bugs & insects trapped inside the resin sheets. This is fallen resin & no trees were tapped or harmed in any way to yield this product. The name Hymenea comes from the Greek God of Marriage Hymen & is in reference to the perfect pairing of the tree’s leaves. The God Hymen also lends us the name for the female membrane of the same name. Once more closely associated with marriage than today. The second name verrucosa comes from the Latin word for Warts, a reference to the resin-filled blisters that appear on the surface of the tree’s seed pods. See the photo above for reference. Since this material is quite hard, one needs to break it into smaller pieces before placing on the coal or powdering it for processing. This is easily done by inserting the resin pieces in a closed ziplock bag & tapping them with a hammer. When they are down to about 1/4 they can easily be powdered in a mortar & pestle or an electric herb/coffee grinder. Because of its hardness & clarity, it is an excellent material for making high-grade, durable lacquers & varnishes. It dissolves in pure alcohol & Turpentine. The word Copal truly is generic. It is used in Central & South America to describe incense. Of any type. Thus we will find resins from very different species, with very different physical & aromatic traits, all referred to locally as Copal. The other use of the word Copal is the reference to any hard, pure resin devoid of gum & essential oil that can be dissolved in a solvent such as alcohol, hot vegetable oils or turpentine to produce a hard protective coating such as varnishes, lacquers & other industrial finishes. Zanzibar Copal can be burned on its own or compounded with other aromatic