WHAT IS A KUKRI?
The knife kukri or khukuri it is the white weapon that distinguishes the Nepalese. Something similar to what the katana means to Japan. The kukri originated as an agricultural implement and is still used for that purpose, as well as a decorative object, but what made this knife world famous is its use as a weapon in battle. Although it is manufactured internationally (United States and Spain, among others), in Nepal or Tibet they are still made by hand. The kukri is a knife with a curved blade, broadened at one end and narrowed at the tip, giving it a crescent-like appearance. The blade of these is made of carbon steel of exceptional hardness. For the handle, it is customary to use very resistant materials, such as buffalo horn, or wood of great consistency. The craftsman who works the kukri is known as the Kami . It is normal for kukri to have different dimensions. Usually the leaves measure between 30 and 40 centimeters, and the spine of the leaf 5 mm. thick. The kukri are distinguished by their kauri, a kind of incision, which resembles a crescent and is located near the handle. The first time you pick up a kukri you have the feeling that you have picked up an axe. And it is that the kukri like the ax cut by blow destroying bones and tendons.
Today the kukri continues to be used, along with two other weapons: the sharpener or chakmak and a small knife, similar to a scalpel, which is called a kadra . The Gurkha Brigade , made up of Nepalese and Indians and which is part of the British army, has been known for having a kukri among its military equipment. The Gurkhas handle this weapon with great skill, since they are trained in the use of the kukri from a very young age, in hand-to-hand combat. In fact, today the kukri, worn by a Gurkha , is a very intimidating and honored weapon on the battlefield.
The most primitive kukri found dates from the early years of the 17th century, and can be seen at the Royal Armory Museum in Kathmandu. The Gurkha Brigade , active today, has taken part in conflicts such as Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and the Malvinas war, among others. Of course the Gurkhas armed with the kukri knife, in addition to other modern weapons.
In Nepal, the kukri is not a simple weapon, but has a strong symbolic component. It passes from generation to generation, by inheritance, and is respected as an emblem of masculinity, strength and honor. The link between the knife and the Hindu god Shiva is a widespread belief. It is also used in all kinds of ceremonies. Although there is no record of when the first kukri was made, its development and use began in the 17th/18th century.
There are several models of kukri that differ, due to their dimensions, their appearance, as well as the function for which they were designed:
Standard Kukri : This is the most common kukri and is distinguished by its curved blade that widens towards the end and tapers towards the tip. It is used as a field tool and also as a battle weapon.
Ceremonial Kukri : Used in religious ceremonies and weddings in Nepal. Its design is more sophisticated than the common kukri, and its blade is more decorated.
bhojpure kukri : It has a longer and thinner blade than the common kukri. Used as a hunting tool and to cut bamboo.
Ang Khola kukri : It has a blade that is wider at the bottom, and the handle is curved. Its essential function is to be an instrument for battle.