Natchez Indians, an agricultural people who lived near the site of Natchez, Mississippi. Their language was a branch of Muskhogean. Although not generally warlike, they had subjugated some neighboring tribes. They had a rigid caste system, and the chief had absolute power over their lives and property. When he died, there were human sacrifices.
The Natchez permitted the French to establish a fort in their territory in 1716. Conflict soon developed, and in 1729 the Natchez massacred some 200 French settlers. In retaliation, the French drove the Indians from their villages. Many were killed and several hundred captured and sold into slavery. The refugees scattered among the Chickasaws, Cherokees, and Creeks and gradually lost their separate identity.