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Will the real military Kukri please step fwd.


Platinum Member
Jun 29, 1999
On a historical note:

The governments of India and Great Britain have both produced military khukuries and continue to do so. These tend to be clearly marked, and although there are alot of fakes on the market, they are relatively easy to identify. But, I have also come across many other older kukries, purported to have some military association, which are completely unmarked. Should we totally write off this later group as non-military, or, were individual soldiers allowed to carry their personal kukries in the military?

Don't write'em off. I have a WWII vet and the only mark on it says "Salyan" in Devanagari. The prvenance is pretty good. The nephew of the man who carried it gave it to me.
England under Queen Victoria, DBA British East India Company, was not the only army which fielded soldiers armed with khukuris in the 19th Century. As best I can tell, there were literally thousands of Nepalese soldiers, carrying totally unmarked pieces like this one:
<img src=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=520779&a=3822676&p=45759351&Sequence=0&res=high/img>
OK, Uncle, what is it called?

It has a chainpur type handle.

The blade cross section is diamond shaped.

The blade has a central ridge, and double fullers, above and below the ridge.

Don't remember ever seeing one this shaped.
A usually reliable source identifies it as a "Nepalese military khukuri, c. 1880-1900". Like Uncle Bill, I don't`find the cho to be very Nepalese, but I never held a khukuri of any kind in my hands till six years ago, so will defer to the experts who have been doing this for a while.
I don't really know enough to even say what it should be called, but I do know that if I needed a big knife in a hurry, this would be a good one to grab! :)
I don't know the answer to the question- but I do have a thought. The Ghurkhas existed before the British discovered them and the khukuri dates back to the kopis and possibly beyond. Maybe it is safe to say that these ancient soldiers had a variety??? I have heard that different tribes had different preferences.

I may get myself in trouble (but what's new?) but I think technically we might be able to put this one into a dui chirra category.
Here is an old one that may perhaps pre-date the British. I have no information on this piece but the hilt appears to be silver under the heavy patina.


Note the double fuller and heavily decorated hilt:


The blade is triple ground on each side:

It's old but, how old, is anybody's guess.

Uncle Bill, I was almost embarrassed. Then I realized that you were referring to the gent's name. I'm sure anyone who remembers the old Wayne's World skits on Saturday Night Live will know what I was thinking. :D


It's not pretty to look at now, but it may have been once...

Not2sharp, I think you may have thought, what I thought Uncle Bill was thinking. He wasn't. :D


Yup, great minds think alike...

I was trying to imagine what this would have looked like in its prime when I read Bill's comments.

It's still an impressive piece that shows evidence of extensive work, but it needs a good deal of restoration before it gets to pretty.


Here's a closeup of the pommel detail:


I don't have a sheath for this and I suspect the original sheath deteriorated quite a long time ago. Based, on the design and on the condition of the silver, I would guess this is pre 1850 and possibly pre-1800. There is a very similar khukuri (two fuller - w triple ground blade) handled in carved ivory shown in Swords and Hilt Weapons (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, NY 1989 - ISBN 1-55584-290-9). The two look to be so much alike they were probably made by the same school if not the same hand. The one in the book is said to be 19th century.


Picture of very similar khukuri handled in carved ivory shown in Swords and Hilt Weapons.

Does anyone else have a picture of an old khukuri?