The Rehoboth Baster People

About 55 000 basters live in Namibia, they are the offspring of Nama and Dutch Settlers. these children were called coloured or basters. In the late 1860's with mounting pressure from the Boers a group of about 90 families trekked to Namibia. They initially settled near Warmbad in southern Namibia, but in 1880 the settled in the area of Rehoboth. At that time this are was home to the Bondelswart, a group of Namas.

The home language of the basters is Afrikaans, a language they share with many white Namibians. The Basters are proud of their name and history, even though the word baster is means bastard. They feel they are different from other coloureds due to their unique history and the fact they have been settled in their own area for more than 100 years.

The majority of basters still live in the Rehoboth Gebied (area) but many work in Windhoek were they often work in the building trade. Shortly after independence the Basters had a small uprising as they decided it was time for their own independence. Fortunately this was not taken extremely seriously, as it amounted to a few men barricading themselves in a house. And after a few weeks the situation was settled without any violence.

Photograph credit:
Photographer: Andres Gonzalez
Collaborative Organisation: Alexia Foundation

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