Native American tribe that originated from the Natchez Bluffs area in the Lower Mississippi Valley

The Natchez have origins dating back to the prehistoric era. They are a group that has largely been studied because of their peculiar social system and exogamous marriage practices.

Like the Chickasaws, the Natchez was a strongly matrilineal society. Their chiefdom practices were largely different. The Natchez chiefs were called Suns. The highest chief was called the Great Sun, and his brother would be known as Tattooed Serpent. When either of these died, human sacrifice was performed to honor them and the tribe.

About the time French and English explorers were making their way through North America, the Natchez began to encounter each. Attitudes varied with each encounter the Natchez had with the French, finally culminating in war. After bloody battles, Natchez survivors fled and became refugees among the Chickasaw tribe. This began a deterioration of French-Chickasaw relations at the time, and the Chickasaw began to fight with the Natchez against the French.

After much battling with the French, the Natchez people were scattered across various areas and assimilated into various tribes, including the Chickasaw. Today the Natchez people reside in the Appalachian areas of the United States, along with areas in Oklahoma.