Trek, Marble Mountain Wilderness, California.
Cherries, Marble Mountain Wilderness, California.
On a journey through Nevada, Idaho, California, and Oregon from 2006-2012, Seattle-based photographer Adrain Chesser experienced a spiritual awakening. Accompanied by Native American ritualist Timothy White Eagle, the two lived among a traveling “unconventional band of comrades” that had left mainstream society for a hunter-gatherer way of life—one off the grid and on the land. Embracing an adventure that balanced challenge with reward, Chesser captures this modern-day nomadic lifestyle in The Return. The group would travel based on the seasons, their daily lives filled with the collective rearing, killing and cooking of animals, foraging for berries, sleeping outdoors or creating shelter, and surviving harsh terrain.
Chesser unveils a way of life harmonious with the Earth, reminiscent of the First Nation tribes of indigenous North Americans. At the heart of what White Eagle says is both an “ideal and daily practice” is the sentiment, or rather the action, of “giving back more than you take.”
The Return was published earlier this week by Daylight. Woven throughout the book are texts and poetry by White Eagle, and others, based on the legends, folktales and mythology of Native American Indians. Find it here.
Blood moustache, Steinacher Creek, California.
Dressing a carcass, Arco, Idaho.
Magpie, Deschutes River Canyon, Oregon.
Water dance, Deschutes River, Oregon.
Wolf pups, north of Virgin Peak, Nevada.
Mouse in hand Dodge Pocket, Nevada.
Breadroot, Huddles Holes, Craters of the Moon, Idaho.
Burger King, Mesquite, Nevada.
Dirty skirts, Geneva, Oregon.
Knife, Dodge Pocket, Nevada.
In the cabin, Arco, Idaho.
Carrying water, Huddles Holes, Craters of the Moon, Idaho.
All images are © Adrain Chesser and excerpted from The Return by Adrain Chesser in collaboration with Timothy White Eagle.