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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 01 Jan, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Kukri         Reply with quote

My best friend, who's currently over in Hong Kong, gave me a kukri for Christmas. Since my main area of interest is swords from the Middle Ages, I know very little about modern edged weapons, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me a bit more about the one he bought for me.

My digital camera isn't working at the moment, but fortunately, there's a kukri shown on the Wikipedia page that is nearly identical to mine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kukri,_karda_%26_chakmak.jpg



The scabbard and the grip are identical to my kukri. Mine has the chakmak, but the karda is missing- the chakmak looks just like the one in the photo. There are only a few minor differences between mine and the one in the photo. One is that the "GHORKA ARMY" text on mine appears in the section after the curve in the kukri's back (what's the actual term for that part of the blade?). Another is that mine has design work on the blade, in the same area where the "GHORKA ARMY" appears on the blade in the photo. Finally, the serial number (if that's the right term) at the bottom of my kukri is 3377.

Can anyone tell me when this blade would have been made? I'm sure it must be from the 20th century, but I was wondering if it could be narrowed down more than that. Also, is this an authentic Ghurka kukri, or is it a knock-off? For that matter, is it probable that it was owned by someone in the Ghurka army, as claimed by the guy who sold it to my friend?

Thanks.
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Fri 01 Jan, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here is the link again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kukri,_karda_%26_chakmak.jpg - There is a period at the end that will make the link not work

But I don't really have much more to add. I have one that is nearly identical as well except that it doesn't have the army markings I'm sure mine is a cheap export model since I picked it up for $25 at a flea market.

I could see that being military surplus I know they carried Kukri's during World War 2. But that is all I know about them.
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Michael Campbell




Location: United States
Joined: 31 Dec 2011

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat 31 Dec, 2011 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice piece. You may want to visit http://www.ikrhs.com . This site is a very useful resource for historical kukris, and I think they also provide information for more recent items.
~ M. Campbell
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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sat 31 Dec, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nepal has a small army unit in S. Korea. These men are issued these knives as part of their equipment. It is called a "working knife", and used to cut what ever needs cutting. They, the culture, has a similiar blade called a "ceremonial knife" which, once drawn must taste blood. That number probably is a serial number. While in Korea I bought one from one of their departing soldiers.
Is this helpful, or did I only say enough to suit me?

The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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Matthew Kelty





Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Reading list: 61 books

Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sat 31 Dec, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It just so happens that I work with a Nepali who's father is a retired Ghurka. I'll ask him what the Nepali words for the blade parts are and anything else I can glean from him. Remind me if I don't post back by Wednesday.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 683

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Kukri         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
I'm sure it must be from the 20th century, but I was wondering if it could be narrowed down more than that. Also, is this an authentic Ghurka kukri, or is it a knock-off? For that matter, is it probable that it was owned by someone in the Ghurka army, as claimed by the guy who sold it to my friend?


Originally, the khukri's are working and ceremonial knives from Nepal. They exist in many different shapes and sizes.

Gurkha units from Nepal, India and the UK carry regulation khukri's, which are (I believe more-or-less) standardised.

Anyway, provided the khukri in question is well made, I think it's not so easy to prove if your's was actually used by a Gurkha or not. The term "knock-off" doesn't really apply, I think. Except when someone deliberately inscribed a "generic" village khukri with the intention of raising it's market value somewhat.
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,216

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your knife brought to mind a recent article in Guns Magazine. Guns follows stories about the troops fighting in Afghanistan and mentioned a couple of inicidents involving Gurkhas in that theater of operation. However, the tale that caught my eye involved a reitred Gurkha sergeant heading for home.

He had left the regiment to make way for a younger man to join and was traveling home on a train in India. A group of 40 bandits had infiltrated the train and at some point revealed themselves and began robbing the passengers. The bandits were armed with knives, swords and pistols. Our Gurkha sat quietly through all this until the bandits attempted to rape a young girl in front of her parents. At that point he drew the only weapn he had, his kukri, and attacked. He was able to position himself in a coridor of the rail car preventing more than three of the bandits from attacking him at one time. He then proceeded to kill three of them, seriously wound eight and finally drive the rest off the train, in spite of being wounded himself. He did all this without any assistance from anyone else on the train. When the regiment heard about this they asked him to return to duty - they made a place for him - which he did.

This illustrates the character and ability of these men. They are armed with their kukris in Afghanistan. Anecdotally I hear that the areas which they patrol are now quieter than some others! They are truly exceptional soldiers.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sun 01 Jan, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

these knives are actually getting rediscovered in the 'tactical / bush knives' end of things. i have a friend that's a Bear Grils nut and follows a lot of knifes that are what he considers 'bush knives.' SOG has come out with their own version of the knife. there very heavy for a knife, but pack a ton of punch. some are featured with a fuller or two and are still being standard issue for a british unit which Paul Hansen stated.

the little choil i know there's a lot of debate about it's actual function because its not shaped like a simple choil.

theres not much i know about their dating, but i can tell you their massive choppers. even if you wacked a guy in the head with a standard issue modern helmet - you'd get his attention or put his light out.
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Gene W




Location: The South Of England
Joined: 01 Dec 2010

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Mon 02 Jan, 2012 4:20 am    Post subject: Re: Kukri         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
My best friend, who's currently over in Hong Kong, gave me a kukri for Christmas. Since my main area of interest is swords from the Middle Ages, I know very little about modern edged weapons, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me a bit more about the one he bought for me.

My digital camera isn't working at the moment, but fortunately, there's a kukri shown on the Wikipedia page that is nearly identical to mine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kukri,_karda_%26_chakmak.jpg



The scabbard and the grip are identical to my kukri. Mine has the chakmak, but the karda is missing- the chakmak looks just like the one in the photo. There are only a few minor differences between mine and the one in the photo. One is that the "GHORKA ARMY" text on mine appears in the section after the curve in the kukri's back (what's the actual term for that part of the blade?). Another is that mine has design work on the blade, in the same area where the "GHORKA ARMY" appears on the blade in the photo. Finally, the serial number (if that's the right term) at the bottom of my kukri is 3377.

Can anyone tell me when this blade would have been made? I'm sure it must be from the 20th century, but I was wondering if it could be narrowed down more than that. Also, is this an authentic Ghurka kukri, or is it a knock-off? For that matter, is it probable that it was owned by someone in the Ghurka army, as claimed by the guy who sold it to my friend?

Thanks.


Hi Craig,

The Kukri you show is a version of the current issue military Kukri known amongst colectors as the 'Mark 5'.

The person who has spent more time and effort studying Kukri than anyone else that I am aware of is Jonathan R.S. who wrote a fantastic article which is available on several sites under that name or his alias 'Spiral'.
http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showthread.p...sue-Kukri.

As you will know, Hong Kong was a British colony until recently. The Gurkha also have a history with Hong Kong.
I do not think that the Kukri pictured is actually British Military issue despite the serial number.

I would guess it's more likely to have been made by the same supplier as a private purchase item (commercially available in other words).
However. The one pictured shows good quality. I would also suggest that the Karda and Chakmak are a 'mix n match' pair.

Dating is not possible without pictures of the actual item in question other than to say that 1960 onwards is likely.

Could tell slightly more with pictures to examine.

Best
Gene
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