Mayan Copal Ceremonial Bundles

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Mayan Copal Ceremonial Bundles


Each sacred bundles is approximately 8 inches in length and contains 13 hand rolled balls of copal wrapped in a husk.

"We call these bundles pom cuilco. "pom" is the K'iche' word for Spanish "copal."

Sometimes the tiny chips of copal resin or pom are wrapped in corn husks, as shown here, but sometimes in banana husks, depending on the region. Pom cuilco is one of the most important components in a fire ceremony, also one of the hardest to find outside of Guatemala (take it from one who has tried). One of the little ties is removed, and a few chunks or chips of copal are pushed out of the husk and into the fire at intervals. This is done at various (sometimes improvised) times in the fire ceremony, but always when calling the nawales or spirits of the day signs. The daykeeper who is chanting the names of the 260 days will shake a few chunks of pom out of the husk every now and then as he calls upon the day lords. So in that respect the pom cuilco may be seen as an offering to the spirits of the days themselves."

Kenneth Johnson
author of "Jaguar Wisdom"