This paper examines Borno's colonial economy with particular reference to the activity of indigenous traders. Stress is laid on trade within Borno and between the province and other markets in Nigeria and the adjoining colonies of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. An analysis of the involvement of traders, ranging from Kanuri, Hausa, Tubu, Fulani, Shuwa Arabs, Yoruba to Igbo, in items such as livestock, indigenous cloths of Hausaland manufacture (especially turkudi), kolanuts, local salt, natron, dried fish, imported cotton materials and salt is also attempted. Although Maiduguri (or Yerwa), Nguru, Potiskum, Bama, Goniri, Monguno, Geidam, Abadam and Biu were the main market centres in the province during much of the period under review, the activity of traders in Maiduguri is chosen for consideration in the paper. Apart from being the provincial and Shehu's capital, the emphasis on Maiduguri is informed by the town's commercial importance, especially in the overland trade between the rest of Nigeria and the neighbouring colonies of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.