What is Kukri?

The Kukri (also sometime spelled as Khukri or Khukuri) is a semi curved metal knife, it is the national weapon of Nepal. It has been used as a tool or as a close combat weapon. The cutting edge is inwardly curved in shape. It was, and in many cases still is, the basic and traditional utility knife of the Nepali people and symbolic weapon for all Gurkha regiments throughout the world and Nepal Army signifying the courage and valor of the bearer in the battlefield. It is a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. It is a part of many traditional rituals among different ethnic groups of Nepal, including one where the groom has to wear it during the wedding ceremony.

The blade’s distinctive forward drop is intended to act as a weight on the end of the blade and make the kukri fall on the target faster and with more power. Although a popular legend states that a Gurkha “never sheathes his blade without first drawing blood”, the kukri is most commonly employed as a multi-use utility tool rather like a machete. The kukri also has a religious significance in the Hindu religion of Nepal. During the annual Dashain festival kukris are ceremonially blessed.

For attacking, the kukri is most effective, as a chopping or slashing weapon, though it can be used for stabbing. In combat, the kukri is basically used in three different styles: stabbing with the point, slashing or chopping with the edge, and (rarely) throwing. Because it has an angular blade bending towards the opponent, the user need not create an angle in the wrist, which makes a kukri more comfortable as a stabbing weapon than other straight-bladed knives. Its heavy blade enables the user to inflict deep wounds and to cut through muscle and bone. Gurkhas were known for using the kukri to chop off an enemy soldier’s head with one stroke.

While most famed from use in the military, the kukri is most commonly used as a woodcutting and general purpose tool, and is a very common agricultural and household implement in Nepal. Its use has varied from building, clearing, chopping firewood, and digging to cutting meat and vegetables, skinning animals, and opening tins.

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