This Nepalese Gurkha Kukri is being kept in the Museums store cupboard so we thought that we would do some research about it to find out what it really was and discover the history of it.
The Kukri is a type of machete originating from the Indian subcontinent, associated with the Nepali speaking Gurkhas of Nepal and India. The knife can be easily identified as it has a distinct recurve in the blade. It is used as both a tool and 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 of the Nepalese Army, the Royal Gurkha Rifles of the British Army, the Assam Rifles, the Kumaon 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 the “Gurkha blade” or the “Gurkha Knife”.
While the Kukri is most famed for its use in the Military it is most commonly used as a multipurpose tool for utility in fields and homes in Nepal. Its use has varied from building, clearing, chopping firewood, digging, slaughtering animals for food, cutting meat and vegetables, and opening cans. Its use as a general farm and household tool disproves the often stated “taboo” that the weapon cannot be sheathed “until it has drawn blood”.