At that time, status was based on prestige, power, and evidence of agricultural surplus (Tuden and Plotnicov 1970; Lloyd 1974), whereas wealth and consumer goods increasingly determine status today (Babatunde 1992).
In precolonial Yoruba society, sex, age, descent group, and political role determined social rank.
Farmers working in hamlets near the town may spend five nights a week there and two in the town.
As the radius of farmed land expands, the more distant hamlets become increasingly permanent but continue to be viewed as daughter settlements to the town.
Many migrants to the large cities continue to view their towns of origin as the homes to which they will retire and locations in which they should invest in building family houses.
Class is not a particularly useful distinction in studying Yoruba families.
Lagos, the home of our urban sample children, is the centre of a greater metropolitan area with a projected population in 1991 of 10 million (Federal Republic of Nigeria and UNICEF 1990).
South-western Nigeria has the country's highest concentration of industries, with more than 50 per cent of the country's manufacturing output, predominantly in light industrial manufacturing products such as furniture, textiles, clothing, plastics, paper, leather goods, foodstuffs, confectionery, beverages, and tobacco products.
Originally, most towns had broad, straight streets crossing at the centre, where a palace adjoined the most important market.
Yoruba towns are mentioned in written records of the sixteenth century (Gugler and Flanagan 1978).
These towns were composed of enclosed compounds, with descent groups varying in size from 20 to 2,000 persons living together in each compound.
The Yoruba had a complex precolonial system of urban residence, economic production, and trade (Bascom 1969).
Their precolonial town crafts, dating from the Middle Ages, were among the earliest developed in Africa.