Maria van Riebeeck
|Maria van Riebeeck|
|Born||Maria de la Quellerie
28 October 1629
|Died||2 November 1664
|Known for||Wife of Jan van Riebeeck|
She was born Maria de la Quellerie, daughter of Abraham de la Quellerie (1589–1630) and Maria du Bois (1593-?) from France. She married Van Riebeeck on 28 March 1649 in Schiedam, Netherlands. The couple had eight children, of whom most died young. The couple arrived to the later Cape Town in South Africa in 1652. The first period, they lived in a tent. Maria acted as the hostess to guests, is said to have entertained with a clavicord, and was described as diplomatically gifted in the company of foreigners. She was from 1658 active as a money lender to the colonists, and used a slave girl as an interpreter to communicate with the native population. She is described as very well respected and liked in the colony.
She has been referred to as the ancestral mother of the white Afrikaners: in October 1954, a statue was erected to her. The South African Navy submarine, the SAS Maria van Riebeeck, was named after her.
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