This type of cloth is worn as a symbol of status and prestige and illustrates the wearer’s ties to people in power. The patterns relate to aristocratic motifs in beadworking, textiles, and wood carving. The triangular patterns are thought to allude to the spots of a leopard, the exclusively royal totemic animal.
At the turn of the century at the court of King Njoya, work was carried out on 310 looms under the supervision of the royal treasurer to produce cloths such as these. The king presented the cloths, status symbols to his deserving subjects, who made them into prestige garments to be worn at festivals, or used them as wall hangings at the festival site.
The designs on this cloth are created by a resist method. The white areas are sewn together with raffia fiber thread before the cloth is dipped in indigo dye.