Native American

Ninja Buckle

Artist: Joyce Growing Thunder (Birth: 1950)
Culture/People: Assiniboine
Place: Ft. Peck Reservation, Montana
Media: Beads, hide
Dims: 2.25 x 3 in. (5.7 x 7.5 cm)
Date: c. 1990
RTC No: NA0855
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


“Besides an obvious respect a collector should show towards the grandeur of Plains Indian fully beaded costuming, one should not neglect the more intimate sides of parental relationships in which child fantasy and maternal affection find common ground. When Joyce Growing Thunder mentioned to me that she had made a belt buckle for her little son, Jack, depicting a Ninja Turtle warrior as if caught on a candid camera, I asked to see it and [was] immediately totally captivated by its charm and crazy sense of fantasy. As Joyce explained it, Jack doesn’t feel he is related to Ninja Turtles, he is a Ninja Turtle in every dimension! Eventually, I was able to acquire this badge of child’s honor…. It retains a place of honor on my collection shelf!” – Ralph T. “Ted” Coe

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