The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians
The Grand Village is a museum and 128-acre park featuring three prehistoric Native American mounds, a reconstructed Natchez Indian house, and a nature trail.
- Explore the Visitor Center and a gift shop offering Native American crafts.
- Walk the nature trail and explore a “Touch Table” for children.
- Join us for the annual Natchez Powwow, featuring traditional Native American dancing, foods, crafts and more.
- Admission and parking are free.
Our staff is available to help you plan ahead for your next school or adult group visit. Call 601-446-6502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to reserve a tour.
The Natchez Indians inhabited what is now southwest Mississippi ca. AD 700-1730, with the culture at its zenith in the mid-1500s. According to historical and archaeological evidence, the Grand Village was their main ceremonial center between 1682 and 1729. French explorers, priests, and journalists described the ceremonial mounds built by the Natchez on the banks of St. Catherine Creek. Later archaeological investigations produced additional evidence that the site was the place that the French called "the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians."
During the period that the Natchez occupied the Grand Village, the French explored the region and began to make settlements. Relations between the French and the Natchez were cordial at first, but deteriorated as various disagreements and episodes of violence arose in 1716 and again in 1723. In 1729, a pro-English element within the tribe led the Natchez to attack the French colonial plantations and military garrison at Fort Rosalie. The French retaliated in such force that the Natchez were forced to abandon their homeland.
Two of the mounds, the Great Sun’s Mound and the Temple Mound, have been excavated and rebuilt to their original sizes and shapes. A religious structure once stood atop the Temple Mound and housed bones of previous chiefs (called Suns). A sacred perpetual fire was kept in the Temple’s inner sanctum, symbolic of the sun from which the royal family had descended. A third mound, called the Abandoned Mound, has been only partially excavated. After three major archaeological excavations at the Grand Village by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, no further digging investigations are planned for the site. The unexcavated areas of the site will be preserved intact, representing a sort of “time capsule” from the Natchez Indians’ past.