Warrior Is

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This story is based on the life of Mato Niyanpi, Saved By Bear, aka Scar Leg and his true personal experiences told as family oral history passed down through the generations of his lineal descendants. "Warrior Is" offeres an indigenous perspective of the spiritual journey of this human being, and the life of the Lakota during the changing times. It encompasses information never revealed publicly to anyone outside of the immediate family for the past 141 years.

Mato Niyanpi, Saved By Bear, aka Scar Leg is asked to perform one of the most necessary and prominent roles in the Greasy Grass Battle at the Little Bighorn in Montana, on June 25, 1876. A commitment this Mnincoju Lakota warrior was willing to accept. Through life long traditional teachings, Mato Niyanpi would learn to grow in body, mind, and spirit. His nation, relation, and membership in warrior societies have prepared a man worthy of the responsibility and call to duty. To perserve and protect the identity, dignity, and culture of the Lakota people.

Review by Anita:

There is the general story of the Greasy Grass (Battle of the Little Big Horn). Then there are stories within stories. For instance, each family has a story to tell. Sometimes those stories can reveal things, like a person’s character. To the Lakota, kinship is at the heart of identity. Of knowing where you belong, who you are and that every Lakota knows they have a place in the camp circle, which is crucial to the welfare of all.

The main character in the book, “Warrior Is,” is Saved By Bear. He was born in the spring of 1849. His immediate and extended family taught him the core Lakota values of compassion, love, protection, honesty, and courage by example through storytelling. These particular stories are important to the education of a Lakota. It encouraged curiosity and assertiveness. Families gathered in the evening and they would tell stories about the deeds of relatives. These stories were passed down from generation to generation.

The book, “Warrior Is”, tells the story of the Lakota People and their history and traditions. Within that framework is the story of Mato Niyanpi (Saved By Bear). This book details Saved By Bear’s life experience, education and the influences that led to him being chosen to perform one of the most important roles in the Battle of Greasy Grass at the Little Big Horn in Montana, on June 25, 1876. Saved By Bear along with fifteen other warriors of the Dog Man Society traveled to Greasy Grass where he was to meet and ultimately kill Custer on that fateful hill. Once that task was completed, all sixteen warriors left the Battle of Greasy Grass.  

“Warrior Is” is a story that has never been told. By reading the book, the reader will understand the meaning behind the title. Moreover, this book will give readers a better understanding of the Lakota universe and why Saved By Bear and Custer were to meet on that fateful day at the Battle of Greasy Grass on June 25, 1876.    


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