Natchez was originally inhabited by Native Americans known as the Noche, a sophisticated and sun-worshiping tribe who has a flourishing commercial empire. The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians is a 128-acre site featuring three prehistoric Native American mounds, a reconstructed Natchez Indian house, and museum. Additional features of the site include a nature trail, a “Touch Table” for children, and a Visitor Center with gift shop featuring Native American crafts.
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. The unexcavated areas of the site will be preserved intact, representing a sort of “time capsule” from the Natchez Indians’ past.