Natchitoches, a tribe of American Indians, allied to the Caddoes, and formerly residing on Red river, Louisiana, with a fortified town on an island. The Washitas and Capichis were united with them. They worshipped the sun, had a temple with perpetual fire, and made salt at a neighboring lake, which they traded to other tribes for grain and skins. They were always friendly to the French, who planted a fort near them. This led to an attack on them by the fugitive Natchez in 1731. They gradually united with the Caddoes, forming a band of that tribe.
Natchitoches, a N. W. parish of Louisiana, intersected by Red river and bounded E. by a branch, Saline bayou; area, 2,260 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 18,265, of whom 10,929 were colored. It has a level surface and fertile soil, especially near the rivers. The chief productions in 1870 were 231,746 bushels of Indian corn, 12,356 of sweet potatoes, 15,671 bales of cotton, and 3,189 lbs. of wool. There were 2,949 horses, 1,845 mules and asses, 3,527 milch cows, 1,644 working oxen, 8,952 other cattle, 5,442 sheep, and 10,244 swine. Capital, Natchitoches (pop. in 1870, 1,401), a shipping point on Red river, about 500 m. by water N. W. of New Orleans.