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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 11:16 am    Post subject: Kukri and Falcata         Reply with quote

Nothing special or deep, just hit me when I was cleaning the kukri I sometimes carry and use as a machete when riding how ALIKE those two are. 2500 years and a continent separated yet spitting images. How about that for form following function?!

Peter
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J. Pav




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I read a convincing theory that the falcata/machaira made it's way to Nepal through the conquerings of Alexander the Great.
The weapon was adopted by the locality and, as with anything else, evolved over time to become generally smaller.

On a similar note, I've seen African swords that were only a few hundred years old, but almost appeared to be rehilted gladii.

The designs were effective enough to the area that they just stuck.
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 11:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Pav wrote:
I read a convincing theory that the falcata/machaira made it's way to Nepal through the conquerings of Alexander the Great.


Hmm. Not saying it would not have, but that is assuming that the Greek used the Falcata and ignores the similar cleavers that were already standard issue in the Middle-East a millenium earlier.
To me it seems more likely that the various sea peoples and other traders had already brought the cleaver from indo-iran to iberia before Greek civilisation emerged.
On the other hand parallel evolution is nothing unusual either.
Whatever the case, the similarity is such that the british army issue kukri I have would not have raised an eyebrow 2500 years ago in this same region....

HC
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J. Bedell




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.,
I have read a similar theory, I don't know if we read the same thing, but the one I read seemed to imply that the kukri, yataghan, and falcata all evolved from the khopesh(sp?) and that that idea was passed around through Alexander's conquest. I don't know much about Greek history so I can't comment on the accuracy, but I don't think it is necessarily fair to draw such conclusions. Many of these weapons appear at different times in different places throughout history, so perhaps a timeline of the usage of such weapons could show a migration of the concept of this type of blade? Personally I believe it is as Peter suggested, form following function, and all of these weapons function very well as a chopper.

-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Bedell wrote:
the khopesh(sp?) and that that idea was passed around through Alexander's conquest. I don't know much about Greek history so I can't comment on the accuracy, but I don't think it is necessarily fair to draw such conclusions.

Khopesh-like cleavers were common 2000-1500 BC from India to Egypt. At the battle of qadesh, 1300 BC it was standard issue to both the hittite forces and the egyptian side. Both armies consisted of warriors from various peoples from either empire.
Alexander would have been rather late distributing them Wink He, Alexander was king from 336 - 323 BC. The earliest examples of what we now call falcatas in iberia date from the 5th century BC.



Alexander would have had nothing to do with that either...

This falcata thing here in andalucia brings me at another point btw. The spear.That was by far the more inportant weapon even though the falcata was well established.
Same thing with Hittites and in a slightly different form also the Egyptians. The Egyptians made extensive use of archers but also of VERY heavy arrows that could double as javelin AND they carried spears....No lances though which the Hittites favoured.
The bow and the stick weapon seems to have been THE succesformulae for mankind.
I have a question in line with this an will post it as a seperate topic.

Peter
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J. Bedell




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmmm.....I knew an approximate date for the falcata but like i said I know nothing about Greece or Alexander. The only thing I know about b.c. is that falcatas were used then Laughing Out Loud Sorry if i created more confusion, I will have to look for that source, perhaps I misread it. I thought though that the weapons were a little far apart when I read it, thats why it seemed odd to me, I didn't know they were that far apart however Eek!
Sorry about that! Some of the M. Bible choppers have an inward curving blade similar to the falaca also, another weapon for chopping with that same basic shape...I'm leaning towards form follows function. It is very interesting though that the kukri and falcata are so alike, and yet so seperated by time and place.
-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have moved this topic to the Historic Arms Talk forum.

Please note the description for this forum:

"Discussions of reproduction and authentic historical arms and armour from various cultures and time periods"

Thank you.

Happy

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Shane Allee
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing that is often overlooked with the comparison between the falcata and the kukri is that outside of the profile shape they are pretty different beast. The falcata would generally be a thicker blade with a large amount of distal taper. The other big thing is the change in cross section that most have that the Kukri doesn't.

Tracking any kind of progression of this blade style is going to be something that is next to impossible. At this point though I think it is pretty safe to say that during the early iron age that it was known all over most of Europe. The Iberians really seem to have made the style famous with the falcata, but the Etruscans had the machaira, the Thracians had theirs, the Celts had theirs, and just recently I was shown an example of a Germanic one. No the Germanic one wasn't just a forward curved seax either. It was a good idea that worked well at the time.

Shane
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 04 Dec, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Allee wrote:
One thing that is often overlooked with the comparison between the falcata and the kukri is that outside of the profile shape they are pretty different beast. The falcata would generally be a thicker blade with a large amount of distal taper. The other big thing is the change in cross section that most have that the Kukri doesn't.

Tracking any kind of progression of this blade style is going to be something that is next to impossible. At this point though I think it is pretty safe to say that during the early iron age that it was known all over most of Europe. The Iberians really seem to have made the style famous with the falcata, but the Etruscans had the machaira, the Thracians had theirs, the Celts had theirs, and just recently I was shown an example of a Germanic one. No the Germanic one wasn't just a forward curved seax either. It was a good idea that worked well at the time.

Shane


Design wise the fact that a Kukri is generally smaller than a falcata and the desire to give the shorter weapon some impressive chopping power the need or desirability of distal taper might be considered a negative to performance.

Independent discovery and use of a good design is a good possibility and hard to prove. The differences in distal taper and or the use of fullers or other design feature common to one but non-existant or rare in the other may help in evaluating if there is a direct evolutionary connection between the two.

Shane, I'm sure you know a lot more about the subject than I do and my comments should be taken as questions rather than absolutes and hopefully logical conclusions using the little I know about the subject.

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec, 2006 4:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Bedell wrote:
J.,
I have read a similar theory, I don't know if we read the same thing, but the one I read seemed to imply that the kukri, yataghan, and falcata all evolved from the khopesh(sp?) and that that idea was passed around through Alexander's conquest.
There's absolutely no link between the khopesh and the falcata. The falcata evolved directly from the first bronze single edged knives that came into use in Europe by the urnfield culture. These involved from small knives into large bronze combat knives, and were eventually made from iron, growing larger and more curved. The development is illustrated in this image:

(from this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2729)

N.b. one of these early bronze combat (late bronze age, or early iron age) knives I made recently:


Something worth pointing out is that it's easy to see a link between the falcata and kurki, because both are rather unique looking shapes. But similar blade shapes have evolved repeatly in many other examples. That doesn't mean there is an evolutionary link. Well, there may be a link, but the shape can have changed to something entirely different before getting to the same shape again first. A good example is the bronze age rapier and the real rapier. In a way they are evolutionary linked, but swords have gone to many different shapes before getting back to a similar geometry.
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec, 2006 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a lot of good info in this thread, as well.

-Grey

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J. Bedell




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PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen,
Thanks for that chart of blade evolution, it was very helpful! That is a very nice dagger you made, I really like that look.

-James

The pen may be mighter, but the sword is much more fun.
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Tue 05 Dec, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Jeroen,
Thanks for that chart of blade evolution, it was very helpful! That is a very nice dagger you made, I really like that look.
Thanks! It's a suprizingly vicious cutter, which feels really powerful just holding it. I can only imagine how effective the falcata must have been when it was fully developed. Someday I hope to find that out (when my forging skills and knowledge of falcatas are developed enough to make one:) ).
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D. Bell




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PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec, 2006 2:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shane Allee wrote:
Tracking any kind of progression of this blade style is going to be something that is next to impossible. At this point though I think it is pretty safe to say that during the early iron age that it was known all over most of Europe. . . . Recently I was shown an example of a Germanic one. No the Germanic one wasn't just a forward curved seax either. It was a good idea that worked well at the time.


Do you have any more details on the Germanic "falcata", e.g. date, size, a picture would be great if available. My main focus is on germanic weaponry, but I also like the falcata a lot, so a Germanic falcata style blade sounds most interesting.

Thanks.

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Steve L.





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PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec, 2006 3:28 am    Post subject: Huh? My last posting is gone???         Reply with quote

WTF?!

I posted it, but it´s gone?!

Quote:
No the Germanic one wasn't just a forward curved seax either. It was a good idea that worked well at the time.


Do you mean the dacian falx?

(Source: http://trajan.numizmat.net)[/quote]
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Shane Allee
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PostPosted: Wed 06 Dec, 2006 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not a Falx, sica, or anything else...

Afraid that I don't have any more info on it currently. Nate Bell brought a ton of research with him on his visit back in October and it as in with it. He knew that it would be something of interest for me, so he pointed it out. The text I believe was in German so all I had at the time was a picture. It didn't appear to have the complexity of most of the others, no changes in cross section, complex fullers (if any), and no "T" back like the machaira. The organic hilt that was still there appeared to be more along the lines of the Thracian sword and very simple. Nate is going to try an make another trip us sometime this month and I'll have him bring it with him so that maybe I can get a copy this time around.

The larger Celtic war knives seem to have been a direct influence from smaller La Tene and Halstatt knives. The other celtic ones seem to be odd balls at the moment and it is hard to say much about them. The Thracian sword seems to have two characteristics that makes it stand out. Most of the time the spine on these seems to be a gentle curve and lacks the turn back the others do. The style of the hilt seems to be pretty unique when looking at the others. It has been too long since I've looked at this to even say what the cross section was on these anymore.

Since my plans to do some accurate Falcata has been put on hold I really haven't been doing much with these single edged iron age swords. Depending on what I turn up about the Germanic example I might try to make one of these to kind of work into the falcata, we'll just have to see if enough turns up about them. Let me just say that there is a good reason why we don't see the falcata done right and I don't expect to see a production one that is right anytime soon. The biggest hold up right now is just doing them right and keeping the cost reasonable.

Shane
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Kostas Papados





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PostPosted: Fri 01 Jun, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello.

I am a part of a mod team, called Europa Barbarorum,

www.europabarbarorum.com

and as I am a researcher/historian for Baktrians/IndoGreeks and a Co-Faction controller for the Sakae, and also a Greek I have set upon myself a quest to find out about how/why the kopis became the khukri.

The following is my own re-telling of what happened, based on findings, and linking up of the various pieces of the puzzle. I may very well be wrong. These are my footsteps on a very, very interesting journey

1. It wasn't Alexander the one who brought the sword to the Indians, for his time with them was some months. It was the IndoGreeks. Originally greek colonists who settled in Baktria (now N. Afghanistan),
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactria#Greco-Bactrian_Kingdom
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Bactrian_Kingdom
they became independant and once the Mauryan empire fell, they invaded and occupied Present day Afghanistan and western India, thus becoming the IndoGreeks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Greek_Kingdom
They lasted from 180-10 BCE. One of the things they did, is train the local ksatriyas to fight in a "hoplite" style. This is evident from many "hero stones" of India of this and later times, where the tales of dead Ksatriyas (warrior caste) were recounted for all to see.

2. In their later years, they were invaded by the Sakae (a loose federation of Iranian peoples)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saka
, who gradually occupied all of their lands, becoming the IndoSakae.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Scythians
Those were smart rulers, and instead of annihilating the Greeks, they included them into their empire. That empire was shattered, first by the Indo-Parthians, then the Kushans. Those who wished to remained independant, fled to the central part of India, and established a IndoSakae state in Malwa, in 78 CE. This era is called Salivahana era. Later they expanded to Gujarat and This is important, as will be revealed later on. Those people, now called "Western Ksatrapas"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Kshatrapas
lasted until 400 CE, when the resurgent ethnic Indians under Guptas...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gupta_Empire

This is Chandagupta 2 leading the Indian "reconquista" against the "mlecchas" (western Barbarians or "meat eaters")




(It is important to understand that during all this time, the ksatriyas aka warrior caste were fighting in the style of the hoplites, either with sword or with spear)- From IndoGreek time up to now.


(You might need to save it and zoom in close to the lower part to see some hoplite style Indians)



and,

(2 last of the above pics are from the chalukya empire, mid and southern India 600 CE-1200 CE, those after the guptas.)

3. After the demise of the "western barbarians" the Ksatriyas in the former areas of Western Ksatriyas, aka, Malwa, Rajastan and Gujarat continued on under Guptas and later empires in the region.

4. Then approx. at 700 CE new invaders came. The Muslims. Gujarat's and those of Rajastan Ksatriya, under the leadership of a Bapa Rawal (according to Myth), tried and failed to contain the Muslim invasion, (even if their myths say otherwise-that they originally won).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghurka

5. Then they migrated into Nepal, after assuming the name of their hindu holyman Guru Gorkhanath, they settled there keeping their Ksatriya role and naming an area of Nepal after them. Now you know them as Ghurkas. The kopis, their battlesword was now called Khukri. To this date, people in Nepal count the time in the "Salivahana" era, which started in 78 BCE, when the IndoSakae, along with their IndoGreek subjects established an independant state in Malwa Gujarat and Rajastan in India.

---edited on June 3rd for clarification on the above, twice to fix some links

1. Saka era that is still used in Nepal, Shalivahana which in conjunction with their own account of leaving Rajput (then Baryghaza), after Arab invasion of India, can lead Ghurka ancestry to the Ksatriyas fighting for IG and then Sakae (or Western Ksatrapas as they became known until approx. 380 CE, when their kingdom collapsed, after Gupta assault)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saka_era

2. Proof for the fact that there was a big Hellenic presence in the Western Ksatrapa state.

a. as quoted earlier "According to the Brihat-Katha-Manjari of the Kashmiri Pandit Kshmendra, king Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) had "unburdened the sacred earth of the Barbarians like the Shakas, Mlecchas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Tusharas, Parasikas, Hunas, etc. by annihilating these Mlecchas (barbarians, meat eaters, non hindus) completely."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mleccha

b. Yavanesvara=Lord of the Greeks who lived 150 years before the fall of the Western Ksatrapas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yavanesvara

and mostly the following,
http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biogr...svara.html

While everything written about Yavanesvara is accurate, (so far as we know), his name meaning lord of the Greeks is treated as his given name not his job description. Meaning that he must be answering to his king and be accountable for all the Greeks living in the realm. His name was probably something very different. To be called "lord of the Greeks" in a state which wasn't greek and which basically ecclipsed Greek Kingdoms in India, well meant 2 things. First the enourmous acceptance of Greek culture (even if in this case it was in the realm of supernatural) and the fact that as a king advisor he must have had a lot of respect both for him and for his people. Such respect can't only be given by translating an "astrology 101" text, but rather should be seen in context to the real power the Greeks had in running the Kingdom. This must have happened earlier on as well. This also means that Sakae were VERY lenient with subject races, giving them a share in running the kingdom, rather than treating them with disdain.


Last edited by Kostas Papados on Sun 03 Jun, 2007 10:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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Peter Bosman




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2007 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the effort and information Kostas!

Peter
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David Sutton




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PostPosted: Sun 03 Jun, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kostas, I think that was one of the best expositions of a theory I have ever seen on this forum! Cool

A couple of points occurred to me though: Is there any more evidence than just the depictions on stelae to suggest the form of hoplite tactics as depicted was derived form the Greeks and is not simply an indigenous form that appears like hoplite warfare? For example northern European shield-wall tactics appear to mirror hoplite warfare in many respects, but I don't think this suggests that the ancient Germans derived it from the Greeks. I'm not saying your wrong in this idea (in fact the theory seems pretty plausible to me), its just that theres only so many ways of using a spear and shield and just because one thing looks like another it doesn't necessarily follow that the two are connected.

The second point is a bit more general. Earlier on in the thread someone commented that the Greek Kopis was derived form the Iberian Falcata and that this developed from from weapons brought to Spain by traders before Greek civilisation developed. As far as I was aware didn't this happen the other way round, i.e. the Falcata was an evolution from the Kopis and that it was inroduced by Greek colonists?

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Simon Hengle





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PostPosted: Mon 04 Jun, 2007 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello guys this is my first post, when I was in Nepal I did quite a bit of research into this matter, and here is my take on the history of the kukri, as done for the British National Black Belt Acadamies kukri training, which has been approved by the British Gurkha's.

ORIGIN AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE KUKRI

Where the kukri originated from has always been a question that has puzzled me, and although I am not offering an absolute answer I might have found a clue, when I was in Nepal we (Spiral) found a link to the Greek language and possibly the Kopis.
The Kopis (first came about around 500BC and was made of iron) is often associated with the kukri, due to Alexander the Greats defeat of the Indians in Punjab (then Northern India) at the battle of Hydaspes in 326 BC. Potentially the Indians took the design from the Kopis that many of the Macedonian/Greek cavalry and Hoplites used in that period.
Also many mercenary troops for the Greeks used the Kopis as well, such as the Dii tribesman (modern Bulgaria) and the Etruscians (Northern Italy, whose alphabet is based on the Greek alphabet, due to the heavy Greek colonisation of that area). Another possible name for the Kopis that you might hear of is the Machaira, which in Greek refers to Knife types where as the word Kopis (pronounced Gopis) refers to clever type weapons and is a more accurate terminology. Another term for the Kopis, Falcata didn't come into the equation until the late 19th.century, from the historian M. Fulgosio, its basically just another name for the Kopis.
The Nepalese word khukuri (pronounced koo-ka-ree) derives from the Sanskrit character kshura, meaning razor and this has the same linguistic origin as the Greek word ksuron (razor). This is potentially further evidence that the Kukri might well have originated from Greece.
I am afraid pre-16th.century is almost impossible to trace what weapon was used by whom in the various Kingdoms around Kathmandu Valley. But from the mid 16th.century onwards a definite pattern emerges, and we know for sure that the kukri were in use, indeed the oldest known Kukri is in the National museum in Kathmandu, which belonged to Raja Drabya Shah, King of Goorkha, between 1559 & 1570.
It is however, with the Goorkha King Prithwi Narayan (1723-1775) and his Goorkha’s that the tradition of wearing the kukri into battle began, and with it the reputation of the Goorkha’s as tough fighting troops. From 1744 King Prithwi Narayan fought a long series of battles (his main kukri is the same as the Goorkha Army kukri that Tora sell, except his had an Ivory handle) against the various Kingdoms. Finally in 1768 Kathmandu valley became his, and Prithwi Narayan became the first Shah (monarch) of Nepal, and Nepal as we know it today was born.
However the main weapon of the Ruling warrior high caste (Ksatriya which refers to the warrior caste, these days they are referred to as the Chettri in Nepal) Nepalese warfare was the Talwar (although Nepal does not have an official National Sword, if there was going to be one, the Talwar would be it). The back up weapon to the Tulwar for the main warrior caste was the kukri, of which there were two predominant types, the Chaura (broad, the type most people associate as a kukri type) kukri and the old style Sirupate, which are sub-divided into two types the Hatrayadha (hand and a half) and the Doharohat (double handed) Sirupate.
The modern style sirupate seems to originate from the Limbu tribe. The weapon of last resort for them is the lightweight Khuda (or Kora). I asked different people on several different occasions in what order of priority the Chettri caste gave their weapons, the Talwar being no.1 weapon, the kukri was the back up to the Talwar and the khuda was used last of all. This is reflected in one of the paintings in the national museum of Deva Shamsher J.B. Ranas (1862-1914), who is proudly wearing his main sword, a lovely Doharohat Sirupate, and down on the floor by the wall there is a khuda in a sheath that is barely noticeable, albeit the khuda is there, however in all the paintings of Rana's and Shas, it was the only one I noticed. The other two sword types that were used by the Chettri were the Shamshir and the Khadga/Kharga (also known as Khanda), the Khadga is now the Officers sword of Goorkha Army units in Nepal.
The two main hand-to-hand to hand weapons of the general infantry (i.e. the Rai, Limbu, Tamang and so on, who were the main fighting force) of the Nepalese kingdoms were the lightweight khuda (the large heavy ones were and still are purely sacrificial) and the Battlefield kukri, and these were often combined with the use of a shield. Other weapons used were the spear, bow and arrow, what tactics were used and the importance of these weapons in battle I honestly don’t know.
The khuda gradually lost favour, I suspect for two reasons, one it was not as versatile as a kukri in combat and two with the advent of musket it was not practical to carry a khuda, which could not be used as a good utility tool like a kukri. I believe the kukri won through, as it was a more efficient weapon and utility tool. The kukri was the main back up weapon by the 19th. Century and the khuda in large part had been relegated to ceremonial use at festivals; the role of the kukri has not changed to this day with the Nepalese and Indian Army Goorkhas along with the British Army Gurkhas.
Another major influence on kukri design has been the British military influence on issued kukri to the Gurkhas since 1815. There have been many issued types but only five British Government MK types.
1/ The MKI was issued from around 1903 (possibly before) to at least 1915, it had a blade length from 13-14.5”, with a weight from around 23oz-29oz, and was the first issued kukri to have a puraparo (stick tang) wooden handle, the handle was secured by a nut in the top of the handle, although some made in Afghanistan had the nut on top of the handle. The MKI is a very rare model.
2/ The MKII was in production from at least 1915 to around 1944, it had a blade length from 13-13.5”, with a weight from around 23oz-28oz, and was the first to have the chirawal (full tang) handle, the handle had wooden slabs attached by rivets, it always had a bolster and butt plate. The most famous version of the MKII was the M43.
3/ The MKIII was in production from around 1943-1950, it had a blade length of around 12”, with a weight of around 25oz, and came with a chirawal wooden handle with no bolster. This model is still used in the Indian Goorkhas, but they are generally not as well made, and there are plenty of very poor replicas.
4/ The MKIV was a variant of the MKIII; done by Wilkinson Sword, although it is very similar to the MKIII it is a much better made kukri with a superb balance. It comes with a 12” blade and weighs around 23oz with chirawal wooden handle. Only 1400 were ever made, and it is without doubt the rarest of the MK’s.
5/ The MKV was introduced in the 1960’s, and this showed a mark change in the requirements of the issued kukri, it was foremost a camping kukri, rather than the other MK’s which were both fighting kukri and survival/bushcraft kukri. The pattern one came with a blade around 11” with a weight of around 15oz, with a horn puraparo handle. Then in the 1990’s a cheaper version the pattern two was introduced, it had a blade length of around 10.25” and weighed around 18oz and it also had a horn puraparo handle. The Gurkhas more than ever before use their own personnel kukri on their webbing as a result of the inferior MKV BSI kukri.
The importance of the kukri to Nepal was aptly put by the Maharaja, Padma Shamser Jangbahadur Rana (Prime Minister and Supreme Commander of Nepal), who wrote in 1948, “The Khukuri (Nepalese spelling) is the national as well as the religious weapon of the Gurkhas. It is incumbent on a Gurkha to carry it while awake and to place it under the pillow when retiring."

Some extra points;

1/ The most influencial influx of people to Tibet and Nepal were the Mongols, who first took an interest in that area in 1239, and what many people regard as Gurkha's have their origins from Mongolia, and traditionaly the British Gurkhas are made up of Gurung's. Magar's, Rai and Limbu, who are not of Ksatriya caste.
2/ The higher caste Rajputs originate from Southern India, from when they fled the Moghul (Persion name for Mongol) invasion in the 16th. Century, and this is where the Shah originate from. The only high caste British Gurkha regiment was the 9th. Gurkha rifles who were made up mainly of Chhetri, now part of the Indian Goorkhas.
3/ In the National Museam in Kathmandu, with some of the battle field kukri, it is easy to see the relationship between the Kopis and the kukri, thay are very similar in design. It is no good comparing Modern tourist kukri to the kopis, or even Miliray kukri from the MKIII onwards, however the design of the MKII and and many other older kukri have very similar design concepts.

Cheers Simon
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