The kukri or khukuri (Nepali: खुकुरी khukuri) is a knife, originating from the Indian subcontinent, associated with the Nepali speaking Gurkhas of Nepal and India. The knife has a distinct re-curve in the blade. It is used as both a tool and as a weapon in the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally, it was, and in many cases still is, the basic utility knife of the Gurkha. It is a characteristic weapon of the Nepalese Army, the Royal Gurkha Rifles of the British Army, the Assam Rifles, the Assam Regiment, the Garhwal Rifles, the Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army, and of all Gurkha regiments throughout the world, so much so that some English-speakers refer to the weapon as a “Gurkha blade” or “Gurkha knife”. The kukri often appears in Nepalese and Indian Gorkha heraldry and is used in many traditional rites such as wedding ceremonies.
Researchers trace the origins of the blade back to the domestic sickle and the prehistoric bent stick used for hunting and later in hand-to-hand combat. Similar implements have existed in several forms throughout the Indian subcontinent and were used both as weapons and as tools, such as for sacrificial rituals. Burton (1884) writes that the British Museum housed a large kukri-like falchion inscribed with writing in Pali. Among the oldest existing kukri are those belonging to Drabya Shah (c. 1559), housed in the National Museum of Nepal in Kathmandu.
The kukri came to be known to the Western world when the East India Company came into conflict with the growing Gorkha Kingdom, culminating in the Gurkha war of 1814–1816. It gained literary attention in the 1897 novel Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker. Despite the popular image of Dracula having a stake driven through his heart at the conclusion of a climactic battle between Dracula’s bodyguards and the heroes, Mina’s narrative describes his throat being sliced through by Jonathan Harker’s kukri and his heart pierced by Quincey Morris’s Bowie Knife.
All Gurkha troops are issued with two kukris, a Service No.1 (ceremonial) and a Service No.2 (exercise); in modern times members of the Brigade of Gurkhas receive training in its use. The weapon gained fame in the Gurkha War and its continued use through both World War I and World War II enhanced its reputation among both Allied troops and enemy forces. Its acclaim was demonstrated in North Africa by one unit’s situation report. It reads: “Enemy losses: ten killed, our nil. Ammunition expenditure nil.” Elsewhere during the Second World War, the kukri was purchased and used by other British, Commonwealth and US troops training in India, including the Chindits and Merrill’s Marauders. The notion of the Gurkha with his kukri carried on through to the Falklands War.
On 2 September 2010, Bishnu Shrestha, a retired Indian Army Gurkha soldier, alone and armed only with a khukri, defeated thirty bandits who attacked a passenger train he was on in India. He was reported to have killed three of the bandits, wounded eight more and forced the rest of the band to flee. A contemporaneous report in the Times Of India, that includes an interview with Shrestha, indicates he was less successful.
A polished khukuri.
|Place of origin||Indian subcontinent|
Sino Nepalese war
Battle of Nalapani
First world war
Second world war
|Mass||450-900 (1-2 lb)|
|Length||40-45 cm (16-18 in)|
source by Wikipedia