Rehoboth Basters

The Rehoboth Basters are a localized group of people of mixed descent. The Basters can be traced back to the children of the first Dutch settlers with Khoekhoe women. Some of the coloureds started moving north from the Cape Province and in 1870 took over the Rehoboth area from the Nama. Today the Rehoboth Basters number 55 000 people and pose a distinct cultural group. The Basters distinguish themselves from the coloureds on the grounds of their unique history and their clearly marked territory.

The Rehoboth Basters live a mostly Western lifestyle and speak Afrikaans as a first language. The family is the most important element of the Baster community. The Basters are traditionally farmers of grain and livestock, but are increasingly breaking into other fields such as the building industry.

Every year the Rehoboth Basters celebrate the Sam Khubis Festival in commemoration of their clash with German colonial troops from 7-8 May 1915. The Basters had refused to join the German forces and fought in the hills of Sam Khubis. The Germans retreated and every year since the Basters have a celebration to strengthen their identity.