An iron-mounted kukri knife




Nepal (or North India)


Late 19th or early 20th century


Forging, casting, chiseling, damascening


Steel, iron, gold, wood, leather


Overall length (without scabbard) 441 mm; blade length 330 mm; scabbard length 355 mm; small knife length 131 mm

The strongly forward-curved, single-edged blade is made of plain steel with a characteristic notch (cho) at the base and a short double fuller along the spine on each side. The forte of the blade on each side is finely decorated in gold koftgari with a stylized vegetal design. The hilt and the scabbard chape are decorated en suite with the blade. The wooden scabbard is covered with black leather. The special pouch on the reverse side of the scabbard contains a small knife (karda), which is decorated similarly to the kukri.

COMMENT. Kukri is the traditional Nepalese large knife, which is used both as a combat weapon and as a working tool. There are many variant spellings including khukri, khukhri and kukhri, but the original Nepali form of the name is "khukuri", which derives from the Sanskrit "kshura" meaning "razor". The kukri is effective as a chopping and slashing weapon due to its heavy single-edged blade, which is curved forward and expanded towards the tip. The hilt is generally straight without a guard. The kukri is worn in a scabbard, which is usually made of wood and covered with leather. Traditionally, it also holds two accessory tools called "chakmak" and "karda". The first of them is a blunt steel for sharpening the blade, while the second one is a small knife serving for minor works. The kukri is not just a famous weapon but also an important part of culture and heraldry of Nepal. It is most closely associated with the Nepalese professional soldiers, Gurkhas, who are widely known for their fighting skills and fearlessness. In neighboring regions of India, the kukri is also widely used as a fighting, hunting and working knife.

LITERATURE: Сиваченко Е. Сталь и Золото: Восточное оружие из собрания Feldman Family Museum = Steel and Gold: Eastern Weapons from the Feldman Family Museum Collection. – Киев, 2019. – С. 646-647, №277.