The article places the migration of Fulani pastoral nomads to south-western Nigeria in historical context. Their transhumant pastoralism has had the potential for violence with their Yoruba host communities, but in recent times their movements have avoided the violence which their economic activites might have generated. The absence of proper documentation of this migration raises the problem of examining the historical events or movements of "outsiders" because of their "foreignness." Yet, discussion of current migration and refugee issues would be incomplete if the role and the conditions of the historically migrant Fulani were ignored. A consideration of how conflicts have been resolved or avoided demonstrates that the relationships between nomads and their Yoruba hosts may have some in sights into the interaction between refugee populations and their hosts.