Copal is a term resulting from the Nahuatl and means " Incense " in this language. The indigenous cultures of the Mexico made use of it at the time of the celebration of ritual monks. It is however in Africa that one finds the principal layers. The ancient Egypt used copal to manufacture jewels. Toutankamon carried rings decorated with copal beetles.
It is used in cabinet work added with various substances (elemi, camphor, benzoin) diluted in alcohol and passed with the brush to obtain a brilliance similar to varnished with the plug (shellac)
Differences between amber and copalCopal is sometimes described as “young” amber. Although the copal layers are relativements recent, the difference enters these two materials comes from the plants which secreted the resin: gymnosperme (pine S) for amber and angiosperme (Leguminous S and plants with flower) for copal. The most common variety of copal is of yellow color champagne, amber is darker. There is another kind, of a milky white, harder, which is rarer. Copal is generally soluble in alcohol whereas amber is not it.
- New Zealand (Kauri)
- West Africa and central Africa (Sierra Leone, Benign, Niger Cameroun, Congo, Angola)
- East Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar) Zanzibar (also and especially).
- South America (Colombia)
- Indonesia, Sumatra, Thailand, Malaysia, Manila
- Dominican Republic
- Brian Stross, Mesoamerican Copal Resins , U-Drove Maya, volume 6, pages 177-186, 1997.
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