Malia Tahca Ska – The White Deer

MALIA TAHCA SKAH - the white deer - photomanipulation by Jayel Draco
MALIA TAHCA SKAH – the white deer – photomanipulation by Jayel Draco

MALIA TAHCA SKAH: A Vision of the Future

Malia: A Hawaiian name meaning calm and peaceful
Tahca: Is a Lakota word for Deer
Ska: Is a Lakota word for White

After an all nighter of sharing and storytelling, fabulous artist friend Jayel was inspired by a story I told him.

My father had a dream/vision while I was in utero, that I was a while doe. A profound symbol for him that I had important things to do on this planet. And instrumental to his experience as a 26 yr old young man about to have a baby he never planned on…With his soul mate who died two years later, leaving him a single father.

Jayel created a costume for me out of an old t-shirt, ripped and tied (which I wore out the next weekend to a party :-D) He photographed me in his studio, and then worked his magic with the photo.” -Malia-

When Malia, the model for this piece, told me about her fathers dream, I knew the image I would make and the story to go along with it.

There is a prophecy told by various Native American Tribes. It is, the telling of the Rainbow Warriors in the time to come. Of the many Peoples who hold faith to this telling, It was a Lakota Medicine man who first told me many years ago, and so I will tell you the way I was told.

It is said:

“There will come a time when the earth is sick and the animals and plants begin to die.
Then the Native Americans will regain their spirit and gather people of all nations,
colors and beliefs to join together in the fight to save the Earth:
The Rainbow Warriors.”

– Ancient Native American prophecy –

Now this is the whole of the truth in it’s shortest summary. There were and still are many faith keepers, medicine men/women and prophets in their own right who speak of this. Of them many have had their own visions of how this would come to pass. Many have spoke of signs. The Prophet Ptesan Wi (the white buffalo Women) came to the Lakota. She left behind her teachings, and prophecy. In her prophecy she spoke of a sign of the times when these things would take root. “When the White Buffalo is born you will know the time has begun.”

In 1994 Miracle the White Buffalo was born on a farm in Janesville, Wisconsin. She was the first of her kind, an inexplicable genetic anomaly. More have been born in various places since. Other animals have also been born inexplicably white, not albino, white. Including Deer, Crows, Sparrows, and many others. The anomaly seems to be spanning the more common animal totems at an increasing rate. Many say the time is now, the time of empires is at an end, as the time of The Tribe is dawning.

With globalized communication at our fingertips, information readily available, and sweeping economic decline, It would seems that if not ready we are at least primed for such change. A change in our selves fortified by remembering the old while pre-tending the new. We learn more and more how to balance with every step as we move forward consciously.


Model: Malia “Tahca Ska” Kulip

Concept, Costume, Directing, Photography and Photomanipulation: *JayelDraco







Resources shot by *JayelDraco for this piece:

I chose to upload these three images to show as examples of my self shot resources as they are the prime image components. However, there where many other details from many other pictures that I have taken over the last few years used in this piece. For the sake of brevity I chose to omit them.


For atmospheric perspective along with color palette homogenization, use several copies of a “Photo Filter Adjustment Layer” (ie. sepia or warming) at low opacity (try 10% or less). Place one copy in front of your Deepest background layer, one copy in front of your mid background layer, one copy in front of your character layer, and one copy in front of your foreground layer. The result will be a pleasing color palette homogenization with atmospheric perspective.

If your piece has much more layers (as mine usually do) use more copies of your chosen photo filter interspersed throughout your layers at an even lower opacity. This will give you an even subtle build up to the washout of your furthest background elements.

Color Palette Homogenization: This refers to a consistency of colors within a piece. The appearance of any object is effected by the colors of objects around it as well as the color of the light source(s). When placing elements from various photos into one compositions, Often the color difference between objects can be disturbing to the analytical observer. (Ie: one object is warmly lit, while the one next to it is cool) Homogenization refers to making them appear to be effected by the same variables.

Atmospheric Perspective: in addition to Z axis perspective (Objects getting smaller as they get further away) Objects also have more atmosphere between you and them as they go further back in space. The color of an object is effected by photons from the light source(s) bouncing off of particles in the air as well as the color of the air-born particles them selves. So the further back an object is, the more it’s color is effected by the atmosphere until it totally blends in and disappears. (Ie: sky in front of a mountain, a distant mountain will appear to be translucent as if you are seeing the sky through it. When in fact, you are seeing the sky in front of it.)

As always, I will thank you kindly for your much appreciated questions, comments and suggestions. . .
However, PLEASE RESPECT THE MODEL or you just might end up with an arrow stuck in your butt.

The Universe does not take sides, it only upholds the balance.
If upholding the balance is your intent, the universe is on your side.
Mitakuye Oyasin (all things are related)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.