From card: "Old [19th or early 20th century exhibit] label: This pattern of cloth is used exclusively in trade with the Masai ... ; they prefer it to other varieties. The red stripe in this sample is narrower than usual."
Reference: Abbott, W. L. 1891. Ethnological collections in the U. S. National Museum from Kilima-Njaro, East Africa. In: Report of the United States National Museum for the year ending June 30, 1891. pp.381-428, 24 figs., https://www.si.edu/es/object/SILSRO_82175 . On p. 405 of the publication this object is described: "War Cloth (Maibere). For trade with the Masai all cloth must be made up into maibere. The red stripe in this specimen is too narrow and therefore was rejected in trade. Masai tribe; Mount Kilima-Njaro, East Africa. In dress, implements, and in weapons, fashion reigns supreme among these fastidious aborigines. Frequently, an assagai offered in traffic will be rejected with the remark "We have not used that pattern for ten years.""
National Museum of Natural History