Most of all, I believe the blade form descended from the Greek kopis which is about 2,500 years old, thus making the khukuri is one of the oldest blade forms in the history of the world – if not in fact the oldest. I believe that the blade form was carried to the sub – continent by the troops of Alexander the Great and was copied by local kamis (blacksmiths). There are khukuris hanging on the walls of Nepal ‘s National Museum which are 500 years old or even more. So, the long history is one of the things that make the knife magic.
Another thing that adds to the magic of the khukuri is the cultural and religious significance which has worked its way into the knife. Almost everything about the knife means something. What we call a blood groove is said to be trident of the Hindu god, Shiva, the destroyer.
The cho or notch has various meanings, the sun and moon, symbols of Nepal , the sexual apparatus of Hindu gods and goddesses, a cow track because the cow is sacred to the Hindus The butt cap of the knife is said to resemble the eye of god, always watching, ever seeing. The rings around the handle mean something but the true significance has been lost in the mists of time. Even the basic curve is said to look like a crescent moon, a symbol of Nepal . So, the religious meanings that have been worked into the knife make it magic.
And then there are the Gurkhas who did more than anybody to bring this knife to the attention of the world. For years, even centuries, the blade form lay dormant in the world, being kept alive only in Nepal and India . And then the Gurkhas appeared on the world scene a couple of hundred years ago and brought with them their traditional weapon, the khukuri. Because the Gurkhas were probably the best mercenary force the world has ever seen and may ever see part of their fame became the fame of the khukuri. Having lived in Nepal , being married into a Gurkha family, and having friends who are Gurkhas past and present, when I see a real khukuri I hear bugles and tigers. I cannot imagine a khukuri without thinking of Gurkhas, and I cannot imagine a Gurkha without thinking of a khukuri. That’s why Khukuri is also known as Gurkha Knife. No battle blade in the history of the world has more documented kills than the khukuri. That is part of the magic.
Then there are the kamis(blacksmiths), the untouchable caste who make the khukuris. Working under absolutely deplorable conditions and with nothing more than an open forge and a handful of tools most of which they have made themselves they produce one of the finest knives in the world. It is the experience that has been passed down for 200 or even 400 years and the native skill along with blood, sweat, tears, patience, care, and a pride in craftsmanship that makes the knife magic.
When you combine all these facts and fabulous things about khukuri or Gurkha Knife together you get the mystique and the magic that is inherent in all real khukuris.