Natchez Dialect

Natchez Dialect – First visited by the French in 1682, this group lives around present-day Natchez, Mississippi. They are skilled in the arts, weave textile fabric from the inner bark of the mulberry, make excellent pottery, and build mounds. They are also noted for flattening their heads. Their society is divided into two groups – nobility and commoners. At first contact, they have eight towns: Achougoulas, Cogoucoula, Ousagoncoula, Pochougoula, Thoucoue, Tougoulas, Yatanocas, and Ymacachas. The Taenas and Avoyel are also considered to be members of this group. In 1729 the French, with the help of the Choctaw, attack their villages. By 1730 the Natchez split into three groups and leave the area. One group joins the Chickasaw, another moves to the Washita River where they are attacked and killed, and the third attempts to remain in their homelands and live near the Abihkas. Some refugees settle in South Carolina with Cherokee.While initially classified as a Muskogee dialect by Swanton, the Natchez language is unique and now considered to be a language isolate.