It is believed that as early as 1652, the year of Jan van Riebeeckâ€™s landing at the Cape in South Africa, this race came into being. The progenitors were the early Dutch and other European men at the Cape who intermarried and interbred with indigenous Khoisan women. Some intermarrying with early Cape Malays, brought to the Cape by the Dutch from the East Indies, also took place.
The Rehoboth Basters are a branch of this new race. The term â€œBasterâ€ is the preferred term and used with pride by the Baster Community. They adopted the language and culture of their forefathers, which included the observance of Christian beliefs. Early missionaries recognized their strong Christian leanings and were sympathetic toward them, often being of assistance in their efforts to find peace and security.
Today, the Basters are a patriotic people and very protective of their cultural heritage. They work as artisans, tradesmen and farmers.