This “Sun Bear” (Mato Wi) design is the representation of life’s journey. It is said that the Sun (Wi) brings life to all, and red is his color, for this is what we see when he begins and ends his daily journey (sunrise and sunset). Yellow is symbolic of the Thunder-beings, and they help us on our journey; they have the ability to give life. The bears show the spirit of their healing powers that helps humans when they are sick. Lakota believe that the four colors on this design are part of the sacred circle, the ongoing cycle of life and death, the journey one must take to fulfill his/ her purpose.
"This Red Yellow Bandana, entitled "Sun Bear" came to be through the most unexpected way. One day I was travelling through the Reservation and decided to stop and pay my respects to the old ones buried at the Wounded Knee site. While there I saw a young man who was selling dream catches he had made. He was about 16, and his name was Sun Bear. As I stood there and talked to him, I was very impressed with the determination and resilience of this young man. When I had left and got back home I wanted to design something that embraced the name of this man; Sun Bear, and show the strength and healing the name he carried had. I always keep one of these designs in my bag, in hope that I see him again and thank him for the inspiration he gave me. In the mist of confusion, he showed me clarity and understanding without words "...... Melvin War Eagle.