Scabbarding a khukri and drawing blood

Discussion in 'Gurkhas' started by Howler, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. Come on... we've all heard the story about not replacing the khukri until it's tasted a bit of claret.
    Does anyone know if it's true?
    If not, where did it originate from?
  2. It's a load of bowlocks, probably started off like any urban legend.
  3. The story I heard is that this applies only to a particular ceremony with a particular kukri. NOT with the Service kukri or working kukri.

    Otherwise there'd be an awful lot of infected wounds resulting from routine cleaning and use.
  4. You're all wrong...I saw them do it every time on my "commando" comics so it must be true..
    On that subject.. does anyone remember the name of the 2nd world war character from "Eagle" that had a sidekick who's preffered weapon of choice was his "Clicky Bah" cricket bat?
  5. It was the Wolf of Kabul and his trusted lackey, Chung with the cricket bat:

    "these men mean to do us harm, Sahib... let me at them with my clicky-ba!"
  6. Wolf of Kabul

    Damn beaten by YD :cry:
  7. I can't believe this myth is still doing the rounds!

    "The Origin of the Kukri"

    Kukri is the now accepted spelling; “Khukuri” is the strict translation of the Nepali word. Either way the thing itself is the renowned national weapon of Nepal and the Gurkhas.

    A Nepali boy is likely to have his own kukri at the age of five or so and necessarily becomes skilful in its use long before his manhood. By the time a Gurkha joins the army, the kukri has become a chopping extension of his dominant arm. This is important, because it is not the weight and edge of the weapon that make it so terrible at close quarters so much as the skilled technique of the stroke; it can claim to be almost impossible to parry.

    It is important to remember that the kukri is a tool of all work, at home in the hills and on active service it will be used for cutting wood, hunting and skinning, opening tins, clearing undergrowth and any other chore. From this it is plain there can be no truth in the belief that a Gurkha must draw blood every time before he may return the kukri to its sheath.

    The oldest known Kukri appears to be one in the arsenal museum in Kathmandu, which belonged to Raja Drabya Shah, King of Gorkha, in 1627. It is interesting to note that it is a broad, heavy blade. However it is certain that the origins of the kukri go far further back. There is one tenable story that Alexander’s horsemen carried the “Machaira”, the cavalry sword of the ancient Macedonians, in the fourth century BC on his invasion of north-west India. Its relationship with the kukri is plain. A third century sculpture, of which only a much later Greek copy exists, shows what is probably a Scythian prisoner of war lying down his arms. The weapon looks amazingly like a modern kukri.

    In 1767 Prithwi Naraayan Shah, King of Gorkha, invaded the Nepal valley: In September 1768 Kathmandu surrendered and Prithwi Narayan became the first King of Nepal. That his troops defeated much larger forces must be credited at least in part to their unusual weapon, the kukri. It is reasonable to suppose that this was the beginning of the universal custom of Nepalese troops carrying the kukri, a custom that spread in time to Gurkhas serving in the British and Indian Armies. It was carried also by many other hill units, regular and irregular: Assam Rifle Regiments, Burma Military Police, the Garhwal and Kumaon Regiments. In the Burma campaign of World War those British troops who did not carry a machete carried a kukri, and nowadays the Singapore Police Force also carry them.

    Most hill villages in earlier days would have a Smith (or Lohar of the Kami clan) who forged kukris for the people: now there is a good deal of mass production, though the best are still made by skilled craftsmen. In World War II Gurkha recruits were issued with mass-produced government kukris but nearly all brought back their own from their first leave. Weight, balance and fit are crucially important.

    The blades of ordinary kukris vary much in quality. Many are made perforce from inferior steel and cannot hold a sharp edge: Good ones are forged from railway track and old motor vehicle springs. The best are forged from the finest continental steel and can be of the highest quality, fluted and damascened. The scabbards are made of wood covered in leather with a protective metal cap over the point. Two pockets on the back holding a blunt steel for sharpening the blade or striking sparks from flint (the chakmak) and a little knife (the karda) used for skinning small game or as a penknife, some also have a little purse for the flint.
  8. yes, It is true that a Gurkha has to draw blood from himself if his Khukuri doesn't taste blood. But this is TRUE only at wars and not on social life. My grand father has much of wounds on his hands from cutting himself with the khukuri while he served at the Gurkha army.
  9. I thought the cutting story was to stop people from asking to see the knife?
  10. He should have got a bit closer to the enemy, would have saved himself a lot of grief.
  11. Rayc

    Rayc RIP

    I have had two Gurkha units in my Brigade when I was commanding it.

    It is a myth that the Gurkhas have to draw blood every time they unsheathed their Khukris.

    Here is a video of their Khukri Dance.
  12. I feel obliged to shoot someone every time I draw my pistol. In the absence of enemy forces, the strength of my unit is dwindling.

    The good news is it is only a 9mm and the Bde Surgeon is a talented fellow so most of the chaps will live.
  13. IIRC this Urbn Myth was one of those started, or at the very least encouraged, in about May 1982. Just after the Gurkhas and Guards set sail for the Falklands.

    It was classic PsyOps. Tell the Argie Conscripts that the Gurkhas were en route. By the way did you know they eat their prisoners? Can´t reseheath their Kukries without blooding them, etc. There were one or two world wide magazine stories of similar nature. Complete with Gurkha charges with lack of bayonets, but something else sharp in hand!!!! Not to mention the famous sharpening stone picture.

    It appears the blood letting myth didn´t did as quickly as the others.

    Only the Ceremonial Kukries are governed by this rule, the ones used for sacrificing animals. And even then I may be wrong.

    Rayc, when have two Gurkha units served in the same Brigade? and Which Brigade was it?
  14. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Can't answer for Rayc as to what his brigade was - but 48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade was mostly Gurkha units (as the name suggests) when I was part of it.
  15. Funny, I heard this one from Scottish Regt. soldiers regarding the skeindubh way back in the 80s. Methinks itès just to stop kids from asking to see the knife. Would work well if applied by cops to their sidearms during school-visits, damn tootin