This article contributes to the critique of a particular historiographical construction of the rural socio-intellectual world of the Afrikaner, which portrays that world as narrowly Calvinist and culturally circumscribed, with rigidly patrolled racial borders. This challenge is effected through an investigation into the world of the Bushveld Boer through the work of Eugène Marais (1871–1936) and Christiaan Frederick Louis Leipoldt (1880–1947). The article seeks to show that the practical workings of agrarian race relations allowed for a certain measure of cultural osmosis, facilitating Afrikaner interest in African and traditional healing practices. Afrikaner interest in the paranormal and psychic, with an emphasis on European trends, is also investigated, to demonstrate that the image of intellectual isolation has been exaggerated. This is a contribution to the ongoing project of historians interested in Afrikaner identity, who probe the image of a monolithic, Calvinist past and stress variety and often secular thinking.