The Hopi were proud of their coffin making culture instead of their burial customs. Many Native Americans had strong craftsmanship skills.
There were many different places in North America where Native Americans still lived by upholding and retaining their traditional customs and cultures. For example, there were several such tribes hidden amongst the Rocky Mountains.
The Hopi were also good craftsmen. When their children went to school, their important subjects weren't geography, mathematics, English, or science. Their most important subjects were engraving and handicrafts.
In their point of view, these skills could help them earn a living. These were lifelong skills and they never stopped learning them as they grew older. That was why their techniques and skills were really good.
The Hopi's coffins were very unique and special. They were made especially to reflect the person's hobbies and habits when they were alive.
Seeing that they were interested, the security chief decided to bring them to the coffin workshop. The workshop was under a big tent; there were many men and women working there.
There were many steps needed to make a coffin. Some of the steps were done outside the tent. The big tent was supported by a tree trunk and the space inside was airy.
"This is to ensure the stability and corrosion resistance of the coffins," explained the security chief. "When we make the coffins, we need to paint layers of China wood oil on them. The sunshine and wind will increase the drying efficiency."
There was a warehouse next to the workshop. Many coffins were placed in the warehouse.
This type of place would normally be the mortuary that usually looked gloomy and scary.
But when Li Du took a look, he realized that it didn't look like a place that stored coffins. It looked like a place that stored craftwork instead. The coffins inside were not like what he had expected: they were stylish and colorful masterpieces of art.
The security chief continued, "Take a look at these coffins. You might be able to guess who their owners are."
The outermost coffin had the shape of a big fish. It looked like a tuna fish, but ten times bigger.
He pointed at the engraved fish. "Look at this, this coffin belongs to Brother Faniel-Nanpier. He loved fishing very much. Every time he went to the Colorado River, he always returned with a plentiful amount of fish."
"There's still tuna fish in the Colorado River?" Li Du asked.
Although he was not familiar with fishing, he knew that tuna fish did not live in freshwater rivers.
The security chief explained, "No, but Faniel caught a bluefin tuna in the ocean near Los Angeles. It was reported in newspapers and on television. He made our tribe proud."
Other than the tuna fish, there was a coffin which looked like a grey wolf.
"This is the coffin brother Kaquaptewa prepared for himself. His nickname was 'Fierce Wolf Hunter'. He hunted six wolves once in a hunting game. That was his proudest achievement.
"Can you tell what this coffin is engraved with? This is a domino. Its owner was a shaman who used dominos to communicate with gods and spirits
"I don't think you've seen this kind of projector before. Our tribe used to play movies a long time ago. Its owner was our tribe's film projectionist. He was a good man
After the security chief introduced the coffins, both Li Du and Hans had a better understanding about the coffins' owners.
After the tour, Hans asked, "How was it, bud? Their coffins are very special, aren't they?"
Li Du was very impressed. "Yes, they're great. But we can't buy these coffins. As you have seen, they are customized, and there's no extra coffins. Also, even if there are extra coffins available, it will be difficult to resell them. We need to find someone who likes the style of the coffin."
"Yes," Hans said sadly, "I hope we can cooperate with the Hopi. We could receive orders and have them customize the coffins."
This was a way to make a fortune. However, it could not work out.
Hans tried to hint about the possible cooperation, but the security chief refused flatly. "Our ancestors have set a rule that we can only make coffins for people in our tribe. We can't make it for others, or else we will offend the gods and spirits and bring misfortune upon ourselves."
When it came to the tribe's rules and theology, they could not negotiate further, unless they could convince everyone in the tribe to change their customs and beliefs; but that would be impossible.
When he saw the two men's regretful expressions, the security chief had a sly smile. He said, "If you can convince the two big fellows to stay with our tribe, I can help you get the coffins."
Now, it was Li Du's turn to reject the offer. "No, I'm sorry, chief. We can't do that. Both of them have their own families. They can't stay here."
The security chief said regretfully, "Alright then, I really like the two of them very much. If they're willing to stay, they can marry my daughters. "
Hans was even more regretful. This was a great opportunity to make money. If he could get the exclusive dealership of the Hopi coffins, he would make a fortune.
There were many statues, weaved items, and crafts in the security chief's house. He simply left them everywhere and it looked messy. There wasn't anything going on in the afternoon, so he let the both of them look around his house and see if there was anything they would like to trade for.
Li Du released the little bug. Once it was released, it circled above his hands like usual and then suddenly flew toward the drawer under a table.
Through little bug's vision, Li Du saw the thing that attracted it. It looked like a glove and there was some greenish rust on it. It was simply thrown among a few copper sculptures.
He pulled open the drawer and took a look. He assumed that the glove was made by copper and the greenish rust was the copper rust. It looked like it had existed for a long time.
Seeing the little bug was interested in the copper glove, Li Du's interest in the glove grew too. He didn't know which era it was from, but he thought that he should try to trade for it.
As the security chief was a rather smart and shrewd man, Li Du had to beat around the bush to avoid getting the lesser end of the deal. He grabbed a piece of stone-like copper beside the glove and asked, "What would you like for this item?"
Just as he expected, the security chief was excited. "Oh, my child, you have a good eye. This is very precious, do you know what this is? This is a prophecy stone! "
"What kind of prophecy will it tell us?" asked Li Du.
The security chief looked very solemn and replied, "Only the gods and spirits know about the details of the prophecy. According to our tribe's shamans and leaders' relentless research all day and night, we did manage to know something about the prophecy"
Then, the old man started to look mysterious and continued, "This ancient prophecy is more than 10,000 years old. It is about the origin of, history of, and predicts the future of mankind. This is very important to our tribe, so"
"So, please don't lie to my buddy," Hans rolled his eyes. "The real prophecy stone is just outside in the open field. It's such a huge stone. Everyone knows about the prophecy."
The old man argued, "Yes, but you can't take that away! This copper stone of mine is a tiny replica made according to the scale of the prophecy stone. Actually, I don't want to trade it away because it is really precious! "
Li Du didn't want to listen to their nonsense and asked directly, "If I wanted to trade for it, what do you want to trade it for?"
The security chief replied, "A smartphone!"