Friday, September 12, 2008

Finding copal in El Paso

I recently received an email about where to find copal resin in El Paso. Of course, incense is easy to find, but copal is another story.

First, a little about what copal is. Copal is a resin (dried sap) of the copal tree, which is more common in southern Mexico. This resin is often burned on ofrendas (altars) during Dia de los Muertos. The word copal is derived from the Nahuatl word copalli, meaning "incense." The resin can come in many forms; milky white, black and the most common, pale yellow. Copal's fragrance imparts a very smoky, cedar aroma. I absolutely love it, but many find it oppressive.

Copal resin is most typically burned on little charcoal burners, which are available at virtually any store that sells incense. (A foil-wrapped tube runs about $2-$3 for ten burners).

Copal incense can also be found in stick and smudge form, although they do not impart the genuine qualities as the resin. It tends to have a sweeter smell.

Copal resin can be found at the following places in El Paso and surrounding areas. These are the only ones I know of, but would appreciate it if readers could drop me a line if they discover it somewhere else. Be sure to call first to see if these places have it in stock.

Cool Arrows - 2000 N. Lee Trevino - 915-592-8877
Cool Arrows - 1226 McRae Blvd., 915-590-2200
Cool Arrows - 800 N Zaragoza - 915-790-2090
Cool Arrows - 4948 Hondo Pass - 915-755-3303
El Paso Museum of Art Gift Store - 1 Festival Arts Plaza - 915-532-1707
Funky Karma Incense & Tea Shop - 207 Avenida de Mesilla - Las Cruces, NM - 575-635-2275

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