Silk is a prestigious material, often used to produce textiles and clothing associated with rank, luxury, wealth and social status. In Africa silk is produced and used less extensively than cotton and wool – both geographically and socially. However, silk textile traditions in Africa have been sustained by the continuing demand for prestigious culturally significant clothes.
Kalahari tussah silk comes from a silk worm from the Kalahari, a vast region of red sandy soil extending across much of Southern Africa. The wild silk is a naturally occurring renewable resource used by the San, who are the original and oldest inhabitants of South- Africa. Small communities are located in a few areas like the Kalahari Desert region, and regions of Namibia (Lewis- Williams, 1991:6-11).