Goma is a rubber band that is usually used to tie a thing or to hold pieces together. In the Philippines, "Goma" is not only used for its main purpose but for recreational activities as well.
In the ancient civilizations like the Mayans, people used latex to make a rubber ball to secure axe heads to their handle and other functions. Latex is a sap of various plants, most notably the rubber tree - where when it is exposed to the air it hardens into a springy mass. Combining this sap with juice from morning glory vines, the Mayans created a more durable, elastic and less brittle band. When Europeans conquered Central America, they brought with them rubber items in England. Thomas Hancock, an English inventor, founded the British rubber Industry. In 1845, Stephen Perry of the rubber manufacturing company Messers Perry and Co, Rubber Co Manuf London patented the first rubber bands made of vulcanized rubber. Perry invented the rubber band to hold papers or envelopes together.
Natural rubbers of today are only found in regions near the equator. They are manufactured in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, India, China and Brazil. All these countries have high temperatures, rainfall and humidity at low altitude. Natural rubber is extracted from trees in the form of latex, which is a white milky fluid found in inner layers of the bark of the trees. The fluid is then collected in a cup for a period of time, until it begins to coagulate and flow stops.
Rubber is mixed with different chemicals in different amount depending on the rubber content. The mixture is then strained to prevent other materials in the compounded mixture. The rubber is then put into an extrusion machine, this puts the rubber into tubing form to achieve specific diameter and thickness. The tubing is then cut into lengths and put onto mandrels. The mandrels is then put into an oven until it reaches it's set form. The tubing is then removed from the mandrels and onto the cutting process. Many of rubber bands today are made of synthetic products from crude oil.
Goma in the Philippines
Goma in the Philippines have different uses. Some use it to tie two thing together such as papers, sticks etc. Others use it to tie their hairs and some use it as a recreational instrument. In some parts of the Philippines, the Goma can either be called "lastiko." Children of different ages used Goma as an instrument for games such as "Chinese Garter", "Sulot" and other game which doesn't have any definite names. Others use Goma as a collection, they braid their Gomas together and trade them with other children.
- History of Rubber Bands
- Everything About Rubber Bands
- Dictionary: Goma
- Forum: Games
- Rubber Bands FAQ
- Lopez, Mellie Leandicho. A Study of Philippine Games. University of the Philippines Press: Quezon City, 2001.