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Afghanistan knife

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by bigborebob, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. bigborebob


    Mar 14, 2005
    A coworker recently brought me this knife he purchased while in Afghanistan requesting information about it.
    He is wondering if it is a common production or custom knife.
    I have no knowledge on these types of knives.
    Maybe someone in this forum can pass along information on it?

    It has a blade of 16" with two markings near the wooden handle.

    My photo skills lack much. View attachment 295614 View attachment 295615
  2. bladeboss


    Mar 6, 2012
    I don't know much about these either, but I do know that it is called a Khukri. Pronounced as kookree
  3. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2010
    You might want to bump up the guys at Himalayan Import's Cantina or the IKRHS.com.
  4. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    Looks...emphasize the word looks...like what is often referred to as a WWI style...I am paraphrasing as I am new to Kukris. I say what I say because of the shape of the blade and the lack of a prominent secondary bevel. Kukri's today are big, thick, chopping beasts. Actual early "war Kukris" were not and were nimble and quick. The shape of the bell (the pommel) seems odd but the picture is too small.

    There are millions of what are called "tourist Kukris" manufactured. I remember they used to sell them and I think Pier 1 imports along with those teak boxes, cotton beadspreads and brass objects-de-art from India.

    Calling Karda...we need an actual expert (I am not such a person) for a ruling on the field here.
  5. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    It looks like a nice WWI/Pre-WWI khukri.

  6. Poez


    Jul 5, 2010
    Wow, I would never thought this Khukri being that kind of old! They bring in and sell all kind of affordable stuff there in Afghanistan, and very few things would last there long enough to become something of a value: that is what I always thought about that place. So I myself would never even assumed this knife being more than 10 years old - in such a good condition and coming from Afghanistan! But I have no idea about all the khikri stiles, signes and marks... I am just surprised!
  7. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    Sure has the right "look" for the real deal. Lacks the pretty touches of tourist and seems like the patina is real. Hard to really know. Tell your friend to do NOTHING to that thing. Don't fill a crack, for heaven's sake don't take a piece of sand paper or bar keeper's friend to it and "clean it up". DO NOTHING TO THAT KUKRI until you find out what it really is. Maybe a little oil on the blade and wipe off dirt with a cotton rag is about it.

    DO NOT TRY TO CLEAN THAT. Sorry to yell but this has to be emphasized until you know what you've got.

    It's exciting when we get something that may be the real deal. If it turns out to be tourist Kukri (some of which aren't too bad) you can paint it toxic green and put zombie stickers all over it if you want. I am hoping against hope it doesn't go that route and we've got the real deal here. We live vicariously here some of us!
  8. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Contact the Mod Karda for a look at what that is. He should tell you exactly what it is or point you in the right direction.

    It certainly looks like a Nepalese or Indian Ghurkha Khukuri, not from Afghanistan. It may have been taken to Afghanistan by a soldier or trader, but it dos not appear indigenous to that country.

    Afghan big blades tend to look more like these:
  9. jdk1


    Apr 21, 2010
    I don't really know, but as I understand it, the nut securing the tang was a WWI thing. That being said, the brass bolster would make me questions war time production, at least government production, as brass was valuable and steel seems to have been used on the military khuks I've seen. Over all it looks nice, though the cho seems a bit sloppy for the WWI era. Pre WWI Nepali manufacture would have been hidden tang, I believe. This is all just speculation, but my SWAG (semi wild a$! guess) would be post WWI commercial. That's a total SWAG though and it could be a unit purchase or regimental armory khuk. Spiral or Berk would know a lot more. Thanks for showing it to us. Good luck.
  10. bigborebob


    Mar 14, 2005
    Well, it seems the owner should have it investigated a bit more so he knows what he has. I'll keep searching this site for information.
    The owner is a veteran who made an acquaintance with a local villager while on patrol. The knife was in the local villager's home. They made a trade and now it's a souvenir.
    He greatly appreciates the info.
  11. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    Indeed. Kukris are to be found all over the northern part of Soutwest Asia...everywhere the British Raj was. Afghanistan marked the western edge of that and thus would be, I would presume, pretty fertile ground for trade and whatnot. Who knows, perhaps your buddy's souvenir was in the hands of the Afghani person as a souvenir from a previous war...somebody's grandfather picked in up off the battlefield during one of the many wars and skermishes the British fought in Afghanistan in prior centuries. Or traded it for something during same...

    If the darn thing could just talk.
  12. Poez


    Jul 5, 2010
    Yes, bringing a Kard from Afghanistan would have been cooler!
  13. ron_m80

    ron_m80 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 1, 2009
    Khyber knife is the indiginous Afgan knife CWL listed. :D

    Nice Kuhkri.
  14. Ramil839


    Feb 11, 2012
    Very nice find,im not an expert but i think a lot of the guys at the Himalayan Imports part of the forum will now what this is for sure.
  15. The_Monkeyboy


    Jun 20, 2008
    Ok, why would you guys think that this is an old kukri? It came out of Afghanistan, not a regular area to find old, historic knives like this. Why? Because it would have likely been used to death long ago. AND they are well-known for making anything that is likely to sell to a foreigner. My money is on this being a reproduction made to look old. The things that you guys are attributing to it being an older model, I would just write off as the craftsman not having a good one to copy. These guys make reproductions of Lee-Enfields out of chunks of railroad tracks with nothing more than a hammer and some chisels. Making a knock-off of a knife is child's play. Use Occam's razor here. Is it more likely that this is a new-made reproduction? Or that it is a rare knife from long ago that has miraculously survived to this day in a war-torn country just to be sold the the Afghan equivalent of a tourist?

  16. HoosierQ


    Feb 9, 2010
    Well it has the right look...which is all I have to go on. I am doubting that some faker in Afghanistan is going to be sophisticated enough to actually know what to fake...in terms of the simplicity, the patina. If you're going to fake or just make something like that, you're gonna beat a piece of steel flat, put a big bevel on it, let it rust a little and be done. OR...you'd fancy it up. Hell this is Afghanistan we're talking here. Big tourist trade there you think? Lot's of folks flocking in for the culture, the food, the public stonings! They make those guns because they use them. Since there aren't any tourists in Afghanistan, I kinda doubt it is a sophisticated fake designed to fool tourists. And because it is not an indiginous knife to Afghanistan, it probably was not valued as highly by the owner who traded for who know what for the thing. Maybe, like I noted, it was just some obscure old war relic in a country continuously at war since Alexander the Great passed through there.

    Yes, it might be junk...
  17. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    I have seen videos of the arms makers in Afghanistan where they were making Beretta M9s in dirt floor shops that looked every bit like it came from Italy. So their skills can be excellent. But they always need an original to copy and economic reason to make it worth-while.

    In making a faked pre-WWI khukuri, my question is "Why?" Is there a big demand for faked khuks by all the Western troops currently stationed there? I think that soldiers would be buying local Chooras for bring-backs.

    Why would some old guy have it in his home, and not in a marketplace table somewhere? The OP said that his friend traded for this, it wasn't some market find. If I saw that on a table being hawked, I would be skeptical, but it appears that in this case, the owner shared a friendship with the Afghan.

    We need Karda to take a look at this.
  18. jdk1


    Apr 21, 2010
    Well, if it is a fake, the guy wasted a lot of time on "antiquing" it:) Other than the crappy cho, it looks pretty nicely done. He could make good money selling them as new. As for khuks in Afghanistan, Gurkhas have made multiple trips there to meet with neighbors over the past 150 years or so;). Somalia isn't where one would expect to find an intact German STG 44 either, but they're there. Take care.
  19. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    Oh yes, what makes you think that a knife would be "used to death"? Most people throughout the world tend to respect their tools and armaments. They find no need to baton into concrete or vise-bend a knife to see if it is "good".

    AKMs are popular there, but the next common firearm is the Lee Enfield rifle or SMLE MKIII. First issued in 1895, with the MKIII adopted in 1907.
  20. ron_m80

    ron_m80 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 1, 2009
    My favorite part is that there is some thriving tourist trade in a traditionally nomadic, tribal, Islamic country. Yup tourist junk makes alot of sense to me too.

    Google shows quite a few Kuhkri's coming out of Afganistan too.

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