In most of this chapter I am concerned with historical methodology as applied to traditional dance in West Africa but the perspective from which it is written is anthropological. The use of the personal pronoun ‘I’ is an acknowledgement that the cornerstones of anthropology, fieldwork and ethnographic writing, are reflexive practices and, in some senses, autobiographical.1 By ‘traditional’ dance I am referring to local forms which are said to belong to the cultural fabric of the people in question.2 Moreover, while what I write is based mainly on my knowledge and experience of dance in the Nigerian context, much of it is relevant to other areas of West Africa that have comparable colonial pasts and where the local cultures are also largely constituted through discourses and practices which bypass the written word (though today not the radio and electronic media).