Khukuri of the Month
- Kukri Terminology
Khukuri /Kukri Terminology
We have listed the common and most poplar khukuri terms used by Kamis and Knife experts. The parts of kukri are used as technically in making process and understanding them. The parts of khukuri are used to understand and get the depth knowledge of Parts of Gurkha Khukuri . Here we have explained both Parts of kukri blade and Parts of scabbard/ sheath using the image below. You can also see the terminology image below to understand the parts of Gurkha Khukuri.
Tuppa (Tip): Starting (1st) point of the blade
Ang (Chest): Main surface or panel of the blade (widest portion)
Bitheu/Beet (Spine): Backside/edge of the blade (thickness)
Juro (Peak): Highest point of the blade (angular point)
Khol (Fuller/Groove): Straight groove or deep line that runs along the spine
Kanzo (Bolster): Metallic round/oval/cylindrical shaped plate between the blade and handle
Dora (Ring): Round circles/cuts in the handle
Harhari (Ridge): Round circle bulge in the handle
Bhend (Scale): Handle material/fixture
Paro (Rat Tail Tang): Rear/hidden piece of the blade that goes through the handle
Butta (Pattern): Decorative pattern along the spine
Giza (lip): Front flat/slop part of the bolster
Nathri (Noozle): Center shaft of the notch (kaudi)
Brus Chapnu (Brass Inlay): Thin brass plate embedded in the pattern (butta), a part of decoration
Ankuri: “S” shaped carving, a part of decoration
Patti (Bevel): Slope/angle from panel until the edge
Dhaar (Edge): Sharp/cutting edge of the blade
Chirra (Fuller): Curvature/Hump in the blade made to absorb impact and to reduce unnecessary weight
Ghanti (Belly): Curve part/area of the blade (shortest width)
Kaudi (Cho/Notch): A distinctive cut (numeric 3 like shape) in the edge
Ghari (Ricasso): Blunt surface between notch and bolster
Pana (Full Flat Tang): Rear piece of the blade where handle scales are fitted
Khil (Rivet): Metallic keeper/bolt to fasten or secure scales to the tang
Chapri (Butt Cap): Metallic plate used to secure the handle
Chata (Flare): the expansion of the handle
Fulla (Keeper): Metallic plate used to seal the butt cap
Puchchaar (Tail): The last point of the blade that locks the back portion.
Pine Chadaune (Quenching): Hardening by any liquid mainly water.
Click on the images to enlarge.
Modi (Throat): Entrance (insertion) of the scabbard for the blade
Loti (Loop): Belt loops (carrier insertion)
Addi Stopper: Leather loop just above the frog to work as stopper for the frog to break loose Faras (Frog): Belt holder where the belt loops are fitted
Tuna (Lace): A leather cord in frog
Juro Bhag (Peak Area): Highest point of the scabbard (angular point)
Sharir (Body): Main body or surface of the scabbard
Kothi (Chape): Pointed metallic tip at the front of the scabbard
KARDA (Small Knife): small utility knife (comes with a sharp edge)
CHAKMAK (Sharpener): emergency sharpener and for stropping (both edges are blunt)
# Polished Version:
The Raw khukuri blade made by Kami is first stone grinded and sanded by 60 and then 100 grit sandblaster. After that it is scrubbed by coarse iron dust then medium and lastly fine, that is glued to 6-10” hard cloth wheel. Then buffing takes over which is done by using buff soap and a soft cloth wheel. For Mirror Polish Finishing, another special soap is used and press-buffing technique is adopted to get that mirror look. In the whole process heat is generated in the blade so there is a fair bit of chance that the tempering/hardening is withdrawn resulting into slightly weakening of the blade’s hardness or strength. But this is normalized (controlled) by regularly dipping the blade into the water (normal temperature) kept in a bucket throughout the whole process.
# Semi Polished Version:
The Raw khukuri blade made by Kami is first stone grinded and sanded by 60 and then 100 grit sandblaster. After that it is scrubbed by coarse iron dust that is prepared by gluing in a 6-10” hard cloth wheel and then Medium is used in the same manner. Later a 6-7” wheel that has very fine iron dust (almost as powder) glued in its edge is used in the blade to achieve the Semi-Polished finishing. In the whole process some heat is generated in the blade that may withdraw the tempering/hardening of it so this is normalized (controlled) by regularly dipping the blade into the water (normal temperature) kept in a bucket throughout the whole process.
# Unpolished Version:
The Raw khukuri blade made by Kami is first stone grinded and sanded by 60 and then 100 grit sandblaster. After that it is scrubbed by coarse iron dust that is prepared by gluing in a 6-10” hard cloth wheel. The machining process stops here and Unpolished finishing is delivered. In the whole process minimum heat (harmless to blade) is generated yet the blade is regularly dipped into the water (normal temperature) kept in a bucket as a precautionary measure so no temper/hardness burns off at all.
# RAW Version:
The Raw khukuri blade made by Kami is not even stone grinded or sanded (left as it is). Only a section or two (panel or/and edge) goes through machining (polished/semi-polished/unpolished) should that be the standard finishing (pre-set) of the khukuri knife. No heat is generated so temper issue is completely eliminated. The original temper totally retains in this version. Here in RAW version, the maker manages the kukri’s edge and panel in such way that no machining is required at later stage.
# Black Version:
The Raw khukuri blade made by Kami is not even stone grinded or sanded (left as it is). The Raw part is then thoroughly coated by using primer and black chemical applied until necessary. Then the kukri is carefully heat treated (dried) in a special oven at 200-250* C for 2-3 hours and left to dry for 1-2 days. After that only a section or two (panel or/and edge) goes through machining (polished/semi-polished/unpolished) should that be the standard finishing (pre-set) of the khukuri knife. No heat is generated so temper issue is completely eliminated. The original temper totally retains in this version. Here in Black version, the maker manages the kukri’s edge and panel in such way that no machining is required at later stage.
# Mix Version:
It is the combination of two or three types of finishing versions as mentioned above within the same blade or knife. The finishing is manipulated by combining various versions to get better result and look. The versions/types of blade finishing used in the same blade are mentioned in the knife’s product description.
# Fuller / Groove:
Curvature/s or hump/s that run along the surface/panel of the blade that is especially made for two specific objectives; to reduce the unnecessary weight of the blade and to withstand the direct impact generated from a strike against the edge of the blade. The curvature will evenly distribute the shock/force in a wavy motion towards the spine lessening the stress faced by the edge. The mass of the blade is evenly grinded off in a concave format to make the fuller/s. Fuller version is recommended for heavy stressful work.
# Full Flat Tang (Panawal version):
The tang of the blade is flat and goes all the way through the handle and is secured by rivets from both sides. The full flat tang is also visible on the sides of the handle. Two pieces of handle materials are fixed to the tang to complete the fixture. Bolster, butt cap, keeper, rivets, epoxy are used to strongly secure all the fittings. Full flat tang is easily identified by the rivets/dots seen in the handle. Highly recommended for heavy duty work.
# Rat Tail Tang or Stick Tang (Normal version):
Most common type of tang where it is made flat and triangular shaped, having wider area close to the blade and narrower as it finishes towards the butt. The tang goes all the way through the handle and is secured tightly from the back by butt cap and keeper. Only the end or tail of the tang is visible from outside. A see thru hole is drilled in the handle to insert the tang all the way. Laha (traditional glue from bark of tree) or sometimes epoxy is used to jam the tang. Since the tang has an overall look of a rat’s tail it is called so. Recommended for regular and normal use.
# L-Key Handle System:
A complete new type of handle fixture initiated by KHHI. Same as the above mentioned “Full Flat Tang (Panawal version)” but instead of regular rivets/pins L-Key knot bolt is used. The fixture will last a life time. Recommended for heavy duty work.
Utilities >> Usage of a Khukuri
'A Khukuri is much more than just a knife..'
Khukuri is multipurpose tool used in military, domestic and outdoor for working, hunting, cutting, trekking, clearing, hacking, stabbing,combatant and fighting. Among those we have listed and explained a few things that a kukri can do. 'Gurkha Khukuri' is a pride and honor with religious-cultural myths and beliefs used as ornaments and wealth for presentation, display and collection, gift and decoration. You can also learn why khukri is so important to Gurkhas and Nepalese.
Used for domestic purposes, for kitchen use, for gardening, backyard clearance, household work, in and around living area; a basic cutting tool.
For jungle use as a machete, during safaris, trekking, camping out in the woods, hunting, fishing, cutting and clearing bushes, branches /small trees, forestry activities, also used as hammer, digger etc, basically a survival tool.
For parade (Kukri drill), on duty or guard, training, exercises, warfare, combat, close counter fighting, army ritual ceremony, presentation (when an officer retires, he is given a special “Kothimora” sliver Kukri to mark his loyal service and duty), regimental insignia and distinction.
Religious and Cultural
For beheading domestic animals during festivals (mainly Dashain), to perform ritual ceremonies (which requires slaughtering for example; vehicles opening), during marriage ceremonies (bridegroom with his traditional marriage dress), royal ceremonies (in the absence of the king, his kukri will represent him), special ritual occasions (particularly which requires blood and blessings), Poojas. Also in castes like Rai, Magar Gurung’s tradition, a kukri is buried along with the dead with a belief that by doing so it would destroy all his demons and sins. In remote villages there is a practice of presenting kukri to a grown lad to mark his manhood and maturity.
Presentation, Display and Collection:
As gifts (to honor or thank someone in a special way), for decoration (to decor or adorn ones place, a special way to enhance the beauty and ambient), Collector’s pride and preference, unique souvenir and memento, prizes and cup, owner’s prize possession, business promotion and awards.
Myths and Beliefs
The famous legendary story goes- every time a Gurkha draws his weapon out, if he was unable to find his enemy’s blood then he had to put his own, other story also goes- long time ago it was believed that Kukri was also used as boomerang; means; it was thrown towards the enemy, beheaded him and swung back to the user’s hand; kept under pillow to prevent bad dreams and nightmares, in villages and rural areas carrying kukri symbolizes manhood for boys, to keep away satins, ghosts and black magic, to safe guard and protect a family spiritually and religiously. As well, a very popular saying in Nepalese as “Kukri Bhanda Karda Lagne”, sarcastic meaning “To be over smart than his/hers elders”
Pride and Honor
National icon, national weapon, national souvernity, symbols/monograms for many Nepalese Government departments and branches (army, police, security, forestry, scouts etc), representing Nepal internationally and worldwide, naming local products after “Kukri” (Khukuri Rum, Khukuri Choorot/cigarette etc), unique national memento and souvenir, honest and powerful recognition, trademark for security forces at war and peace, a precious gift used at the highest official level
Ornaments and wealth
Precious and valuable ornaments (to adorn oneself with special curio type replica kukris), to show one’s status and size (gold and silver Kukris at home, office etc), history shows kings, ministers, generals etc displaying big expensive kukris to demonstrate power, money and pride.