PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Adrain Chesser
Surviving in the harsh terrain of the Pacific Northwest, there is a bold tribe of people who live wild and free, practicing the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that ancient Native Americans lived centuries ago.
Sleeping outdoors or building temporary shelter, they travel with the changing seasons between Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. Moving north in the spring and south in the winter, they use their knowledge of indigenous food crops to arrive when hunting is abundant and crops are ready to be harvested.
Surprisingly, most nomads are not of Native American descent, but rather are of European lineage that felt alienated in the stifling margins of mainstream America. For them, living in a consumer-driven social pyramid was not a sustainable life.
“It was at a time in my life when, due to medical conditions, I felt trapped in a system of employment, health insurance, and Western medicine, that I was dependent upon to keep me alive and healthy. When I learned how Finisia and Hartsong were living, I knew that I had to follow them out west.”
In 2007, Chesser attended a Native American ceremony named the Naraya where he met White Eagle, J.P. Hartsong, and Finisia Medrano who later would become the subjects of his newest book: The Return.
Over seven years he met nomads who came from all walks of life but were joined by the strong belief that a major shift is needed in the way modern society responds to the natural world. The march of progress has gotten out of hand. We have forgotten how to live in a symbiotic relationship with earth.
“Give back more than you take” is the creed of these nomads. Every vegetable on their dinner plate will have seeds plucked from its stalk and buried with a prayer in hopes that there will be food for generations to come.
These nomads are pioneers of the new age and are in search of wisdom lost generations ago; they intend to revive native principles of environmental harmony by living with conviction.