Consequent upon the Berlin West Africa Conference (1884-1885), the Africanische Gesellschaft in Deutschland launched the Niger-Benue expedition to investigate possible riverine communications throughout the Niger-Benue river system. Responsibility for the expedition ultimately fell to Paul Staudinger, a young entomologist with no experience of inner Africa.
This translation of Staudinger's Im Herzen der Haussalander opens up an invaluable source book of interest not only to the historian but to specialists in many disciplines. It deals with every aspect of the life of the Hausa-Fulani people: their history, environment, flora and fauna, culture, economy, and social structure as observed by a patriotic young German scientist of a century ago. The chronological narrative of the journey is followed by a series of appendices, each providing a systematic summary of a particular branch of knowledge.