In this article, I describe field cultivation work in two villages in South Central Niger. Furthermore, I ponder on the historical factors that have shaped these working practices in this area. In doing so, I pursue three objectives. First, my intention is to develop further the anthropology of work in Africa, which has focused heretofore on the synchronic and systematic aspect of work by investigating the complex and multidimensional history of work practices in a specific African setting. Second, I want to show that the history of work practices in these villages should be conceived in Weberian terms, i.e., as the product of a criss-crossing of material bases, forms of social organization, political factors and culture. Third, my findings allow me to argue that the writing of the history of agricultural production systems in South Central Niger has not yet sufficiently recognised the role of cultural and religious elements that shape the development of field-cultivation practices.