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Frankincense oil and Oman's frankincense culture

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The Negad Plateau in southern Oman has rough limestone soil. The hot weather is a typical tropical desert climate, but it is just right for the growth of the mastic tree. The world's best quality frankincense is called "silver incense" and is produced in the Negad Plateau.

In Oman, whether you are approaching a monastery or a market, you can smell a mysterious scent from time to time, with a deep, soothing sweetness. In 450 BC, the famous Greek historian Herodotus mentioned the frankincense in his famous masterpiece "History": "The whole country is floating up and down, exuding a wonderful sweet fragrance."

There are many aliases for frankincense, such as "Pearl of the Desert", "Tear of God", "White Gold" and so on. The value of frankincense in ancient times was once equal to gold and has always been a symbol of the power and wealth of rulers. This aromatic resin is in great demand in ancient times and is widely used in religious rituals, funeral ceremonies and daily celebrations. The ancients believed that the frankincense smog would bring their prayers to heaven, so no matter what religious rituals were held, the frankincense was incinerated.

In the long history of 4,000 years, the frankincense trade has been the mainstay of Oman's economy, directly or indirectly affecting the lives of all southern residents. As one Oman writer wrote: "Many people's hopes are pinned on the frankincense tree, which is the lifeblood of people."

Every year from April to June, it is the season of frankincense harvesting. The way of hand-cutting frankincense has not changed for thousands of years. People use a knife-like special tool to carefully cut the gray bark of the outer layer of the mastic tree, and a drop of white resin will seep out at the incision.

After a few weeks, the resin solidifies into translucent particles, which the worker scrapes off and continues to secrete the resin at the incision. At the beginning of September, the rainy season brought by the monsoon passed, the ground gradually dried up, the camels could walk on it, and people began to transport the frankincense to Sarah, the capital of Dhofar.

The hard work of a few months has finally paid off. People’s emotions are high, singing and dancing to celebrate the harvest, busy paying off debts, managing marriages, buying cattle and sheep and daily necessities, and the children are wearing new clothes. The joy of harvest makes people smile on their faces, their hearts are full of joy, and the eyes are sparkling with hope.

Frankincense has many practical functions, such as treatment and beauty. The locals have been using the fragrant incense to help digestion and soreness, and the frankincense has detoxification. For a long time, frankincense has become the national treasure of Oman. It has penetrated into every corner of the life of Omani people and has become an important part of their lives.

In the 1980s, Oman took the initiative to make economic adjustments, using the frankincense income and oil revenue to vigorously develop the national economy, and strive to change the single economic structure to achieve economic diversification and ensure long-term and sustainable economic development. We wish the people of Oman a better and better life.


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