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Total population
Regions with significant populations
Afrikaans, English
Related ethnic groups
Afrikaners, Coloureds, Nama (Oorlam), Griqua

The Basters are a Southern African ethnic group descended from Europeans and Bantu peoples, many are of Khoisan origin. Basters are closely related to Afrikaners, Cape Coloured and Griqua peoples of South Africa, who share the Afrikaans language.

History[change | change source]

Since the 18th century, the Basters lived in the Dutch Cape Colony. Since the 1850’s, the Baster community mainly lives in central Namibia, around the town of Rehoboth.

The name Baster is derived from bastaard [nl], the Dutch word for "bastard". Some people consider this term disrespectful and inappropriate. The Basters reappropriated it as a proud name, part of their ancestry and history, despite of the negative meaning.[3]

Population[change | change source]

The current population of Basters is unclear, around 35,000[1] and 40,000 are estimated. Baster culture and identity might disappear. Modern Namibia's politics and public life is largely dominated by the ethnic Owambo people, nearly half of the Namibian population, and their culture. Baster politicians and activists have called Owambo policies oppressive towards their minority.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "UNPO: Rehoboth Basters". UNPO. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  2. Hartmut Lang (1998). "The Population Development of the Rehoboth Basters". Anthropos. 93 (4./6): 381–391. JSTOR 40464838.
  3. Britz, Rudolf; Lang, Hartmut; Limpricht, Corenlia (1999). A Concise History of the Rehoboth Basters until 1990. Rehoboth: Klaus Hess Publisher. p. 12. ISBN 9991674713.
  4. Nunuhe, Margreth (18 February 2013). "Rehoboth community in danger of extinction". New Era (Namibia). Archived from the original on 13 April 2013.