The Return depicts a loosely banded tribe of people living nomadically throughout the western states of Idaho, Nevada, California and Oregon. Traveling with the seasons, the subjects of The Return, utilize traditional hunter-gatherer skills along with the knowledge of indigenous food crops, to follow an ancient way of life known as “the Hoop”. The Return is a collaboration with the Native American ritualist Timothy White Eagle. From the beginning we held the intention of creating a kind of mythic portrait of a people, a place and an ideal. From 2006 to 2012 we traveled with a group of fierce individuals who wish to embody the ideal of living a symbiotic relationship with the Earth, based on the life way of early Native Americans.
“The subjects in “The Return” are predominately not indigenous Native Americans. Most carry European ancestry. And most come in one form or another from the disenfranchised margins of main stream America. Most are poor, some are queer, some are trans-gendered, some are hermits and some are politically radical. All believe that major shifts are needed in the way modern society interacts with the natural world. And all are willing pioneers, stepping off into uncertain terrain searching for something lost generations ago.
These new Heroes are on a journey. Like all great heroes, what they desire is to simply return home. For them home is a wild garden; an ideal, a way of life, a return to what once was. The wild garden is a place the human soul knows. Every person has ancestors who lived in that wild garden, it is a universal thing we share.”
Timothy White Eagle