Ms. Katherine S.
10 January 2013
Kukri – The Knife of Nepal
The kukri or khukuri has been the weapon of choice for Nepalese soldiers since at least the 1600's and has been extensively used as an all-purpose knife in the Indian cultures. This knife has been used for everything from a reaper of bamboo, wheat, and barley, digging furrows, cutting up meat and vegetables, to the unique, effective fighting knife with an established reputation of being irreplaceable for chopping, slicing, and stabbing. The exact history of the kukri is unknown but evidence of its use dates back to early Egypt, and it has has been used by Greeks, Macedonians, and Romans. Considered to be the second sharpest blade in the world, next to the katana, ancient civilizations continued copying its unique forward curved blade shape.
The kukri knife is unique because of its thick forward elbow curve blade, wider at the top than near the handle. The religious symbols engraved on the steel also add to the unusual design. There are a variety of thicknesses, widths, and grind angles of the blades of a kukri depending on the intended tasks. A general purpose kukri is typically sixteen to eighteen inches in overall length and weighs approximately one to two pounds. Smaller knives are easier to carry but have limited usage. Bigger knives are impractical for everyday use and are therefore reserved for ceremonies, but now are admired in collections. Kukri blades usually have a notch at the base of the blade for blood or sap to drop off rather than running onto the handle causing it to become slippery. Ceremoniously the notch may represent a cow's foot or the teats of the cow. Since the cow is worshiped as a goddess throughout Nepal, this notch reminds the user that the kukri is not
to be used to kill a cow. Handles are most often made of native hardwood or water buffalo horn. The flared butt of the handle allows for better grip and less slippage for...