We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Who are the Natchez Indians?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated Feb 06, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Native Americans of Mississippi and Louisiana, the Natchez Indians are originally from the Natchez Bluffs area. Known for their complex, unusual system of classes, the Natchez people maintained their culture long after the arrival of Europeans in North America. Most modern Natchez people live in Oklahoma, though two additional Natchez communities can be found in South Carolina.

The Natchez language, though isolated, is related to the Muscogee languages spoken by the Creek Confederacy. In 2003, the Natchez Nation established a constitution that confirms its rights for self-governance. The nation consists of 6,000 Natchez people who are granted membership based on their matrilineal descent. Citizens are allowed to have multiple affiliations, however, and support their nation through work or donations.

Natchez chiefs were known as suns, with the primary chief known as the Great Sun. The Great Sun lived in the Grand Village established by the Natchez Indians. Chiefs with lesser powers lived and presided over smaller Natchez villages. During the 1720s, when a particularly powerful Great Sun and his brother, Tattooed Serpent, died, the Natchez people were ruled by inexperienced leaders who had difficulty maintaining the surrounding Natchez villages.

When a Sun died, a ritual human sacrifice was performed. The sacrifice was considered a great honor. A Sun's wives were expected to commit suicide upon his death, and many other tribal members often chose to do so out of honor as well. Relatives of those who sacrificed themselves were provided with great honor following the sacrifice. Mothers sometimes sacrificed their infant children in order to receive such honor and status.

During the 1730s, the numbers of the Natchez Indians severely declined after wars with the French. Most Natchez tribe members were sold into slavery to people of the West Indies by the French. Of the few who remain, most of their ancestors took refuge with neighboring tribes to survive. The Natchez Nation of Oklahoma is a treaty tribe, and exists in conjunction with the nationally recognized Muscogee and Cherokee nations.

Scholars debate about the controversial Natchez social order. Natchez Indians practiced exogamous marriage, in which Suns, the highest ranking social class, were permitted to marry only commoners, known as Stinkards, who were members of the lowest class. Natchez social status was purportedly divided into categories consisting of nobility and commoners, which were also divided into sub-classes or castes.

Castes in the nobility category were said to include the Honored People,, and Suns. Caste was determined matrilineally. While offspring of female nobility were able to keep their class, offspring of male nobility inherited a class beneath their father's status. Male Natchez Indians, however, outranked female tribal members, and held many additional rights, including the right to eat first.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for WiseGeek, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.