The most appealing and distinctive part of the khukuri is the notch or Cho cut into the blade directly in front of the grip and the bolster. The Cho or Kaudi in Nepalese that separates the khukuri from the world of knives arouses much interest because of its unique shape and utility objectives. Practically the notch works as a blood dipper to prevent the blood or fluid from going towards the handle so that firm grip can be maintained throughout the execution and also as a stopper to stop Chakmak (sharpener) from reaching the handle area when sharpening while running down the edge of the khukuri blade. Similarly the notch also has religious significance as it signifies the Hindu fertility symbol (OM) and represents the sacred cows hoof (as cow is worshipped in Nepal).It is also believed to have been developed as a device for catching and neutralizing an enemy blade in close combat. However, myths like notch being a target device to capture an enemys sight within it and hurl the blade like a boomera ng to snick of his head is not true as khukuri is never thrown. As well the notch being a can
opener or rest curvature for index finger of the using hand while slicing are all fictitious. The first khukuri blade ever known to the modern mankind had the Cho and some drawings found in an Indian temple around 600AD also depict it in the blade. Almost all khukuri that originated in the past had the legendary notch and even the modern ones continue to carry this distinctive tradition.
A buying point which may be of interest to some is that if you are after a working kukhri go for one with three prongs in the handle. This means that there are three strengthening bars rather than just the usual one in ceremonial knives. I bought my big mean fuckoff one which was hidden behind a market stall in kathmandu- probably intended for maoists not tourists. For display purposes only you understand.
Barce, Interesting story, when my step-dad and his Battalion were pulled back to India from Burma for replacements etc, he and other Officers went to a Gurkha Festival.
Basically the youngest Gurkha has to chop the Bullocks head off with one stroke, so the Gods grant good crops. Well he says that before the young lad went out in full view of the Regiment, he was given a drink of rum to prepare him.
He failed to cut the head off and took two or three strokes to do it, however all the gurkhas he said rather than being upset due to the failure of the cut, were laughing their heads off. Seems that the young soldier had been given more than one drink and was p*ssed as a newt.
Gurkhas thought it hilarious, and said in war God let them off the festivals aims, and they had got the lad drunk on purpose.
Wish id got his photo album, it had loads of pics of the festival and the drunk Gurkha.
TangoSix. the small blunt one is called a 'Chakmac' was traditionally used for sharpening the Kukri and also for striking sparks from a flint that was once carried in pouch, now mostly for tradition.
The other is a small sharp utility knife called a 'Karda'.
The smaller knife located in the kukri scabbard is a skinning knife. I have a 'drill' kukri presented to me by soldiers of 2/2 GR and a utility kukri, both have the sharpening blade and the skinning knife (rather like a Scots dirk).