Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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kukri with kardas and sheath (large knife with two smaller knives and sheath)
  • Nepal
  • kukri with kardas and sheath (large knife with two smaller knives and sheath), late 1800s–1950
  • Where object was made: Nepal
  • metal, horn, leather, wood, inlay, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width: a) 40 x 11 cm
    Object Length/Width: a) 15 3/4 x 4 5/16 in
    Object Length/Width: b) 31 x 9 cm
    Object Length/Width: b) 12 3/16 x 3 9/16 in
    Object Length/Width: c,d) 12 x 3.5 cm
    Object Length/Width: c,d) 4 3/4 x 1 3/8 in
  • Gift of Dr. Curt Von Wedel
  • Not on display
  • 2007.0408.a-d

The knife, known as a kukri, (2007.0408.a) has a curved blade that narrows at its base and has a notch at the proximal end of the cutting edge. The horn handle curves down slightly, and flattens toward the rear into a more triangular shape. The handle has a thick silvertone metal band near the blade, two thin silvertone metal bands in the middle, and the end is covered with the same metal. There is a silver-colored diamond knob on the end. Each side of the handle has a design (repeated twice) in silvertone metal and possibly brass: it is a silver circle with a brown circle inside, and a ring of circles around, alternating silver and brown.

Two small knives, each known as a karda, (2007.0408.c,d) have slightly curved blades. They have horn handles that flare slightly at the end. The end is covered with a silvertone metal.

The leather sheath (2007.0408.b) is made of wood and wrapped in dark brown leather. The front side of the opening is decorated with a silver-colored band, with a zigzag edge. The point has a silver metal tip. The leather has four "X's" incised at the top, and the remainder of the front is divided by an "X." The created spaces in the sides are filled with vertical parallel lines. The created space in the top of the "X" is cross hatched, and the created space in the bottom of the "X" are stacked chevrons with a line through the points. The back side of the sheath has a divided leather pocket for the two small knives.