This book was originally published in 1972 and relates to the Hausa-speaking people of West Africa. At the time of publication there were perhaps as many as 15 million Hausa-speaking people in the area, most of whom lived in the countryside in northern Nigeria and the neighbouring Niger Republic. This book is at once an examination of the socio-economic life of a small Hausa village and a study of the way of life of the rural Hausa generally. The book as a whole provides a wide-ranging survey both of what was known and of what was, and in some cases still is, little understood. Very few books had been written on the rural Hausa, much of the literature consisting of scarce pamphlets and official reports; this book not only reports important research, but also surveys literature which was otherwise not generally available. The themes which emerge from this study are similar to many which Polly Hill has stressed elsewhere: people who do not fit into crude stereotypes and socio-economic life are always much more varied and sophisticated than superficial observers would suppose.