Traditional Nepali weapon khukuri losing its edge

Bhojpur, October 27

Khukuri, a traditional Nepali weapon, is not only gradually losing its appeal, but is also fighting for survival.

The district headquarters of Bhojpur was once popular for different varieties of khukuris it produced. However, trade of the traditional weapon has fallen significantly over the years. Traders have witnessed slump in sales of the traditional weapon even during Dahain andTihar.

“There were times when we could barely meet the demand, but as the demand has decreased in the recent years, we have every reason to quit this trade,” said Hira Shrestha, owner of Urmila Iron Tool Workshop.

Shrestha has been making a living selling khukuris for the past 18 years.

Various types of khukuris, namely Bhojpure, Buduna, Banspate, Sirupate, are made in the district. Of them, Buduna is the mostly-sought after. Bhojpur district headquarters alone has six shops that sell khukuris. The price of khukuris range from Rs 400 to Rs 8,000.

Another khukuri trader Ganesh BK sought government support to protect skill of making khukuri. “As making of khukuri is linked to our national identity,  the government must do needful to save this glorious, traditional skill of ours and commercialise it,” he said.

The khukuris produced here are exported to many  places across the country, including Khotang, Sankhuwasabha, Dhankuta, Dharan, Biratnagar and Kathmandu districts. To advertise the product, the district has a culture of gifting government employees working in the district with khukuri.

The khukuri industries which had shut down during the insurgency had come back into operation after the Maoist rebels joined mainstream politics.