The site conditions provided them with a natural defense to enemy attack and made these villages almost impregnable. The villages were rather large, with an average of about 500 inhabitants.Dwellings were constructed from available resources. Typically the people built walls from a framework of poles and plastered them with mud or palmetto leaves. The Chitimacha raised a variety of crops, and agricultural produce provided the mainstay of their diet. They were skilled horticulturalists, raising numerous, distinct varieties of corn, beans and squash.
He went up Red River as far as the Yatasi and then returned to Biloxi. Denis sent for the Natchitoches Indians in order to take them back to their old country, where he had planned to establish a post.
In 1702 the Natchitoches tribe, having lost their crops, descended the Red River and the Mississippi to the French fort near the mouth of the latter, then commanded by Louis Juchereau de St. In 1707 four Indians of this tribe took part in an expedition against the Chitimacha to avenge the death of the missionary St. On learning of the intentions of their neighbors, the Acolapissa Indians fell upon them, killed 17 and captured 50 women and girls, but the latter were apparently recovered soon afterward and all were returned to their old town, where the post was established according to plan in 1714. Denis’career was intimately bound up with this post, Ft. Jean Baptiste, and the Indians about it, though he was frequently engaged in expeditions into and across Texas. Nactythos, Iberville (1699) in Margry, 1850, 1875-86, vol. Nadchito, Bienville (1700), in Margry, 1875-86, vol.
In the meantime Natchitoches had become the center of a flourishing trade with the Indians extending far to the north and west, and when St. Denis continued to enjoy the advantages of it and to share the prestige of his father.
During all of this time, however, the Natchitoches Indians seem to have been decreasing, and toward the end of the eighteenth century they parted with most of their lands to French Creoles, though their relations with the latter seem to have been uniformly cordial.
Prior to that they migrated into the area from west of the Mississippi River.