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Old 13th October 2020, 05:46 PM   #1
Jerseyman
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Default Ghurka/Naga Hybrid?

This seems to be a small Naga style dao made by a kukri maker.

First of all the measurements.

Length in sheath - 43.7cm
Length out of sheath - 42.3cm
Length of sheath - 32.4cm
Length of blade - 31.3cm
Length of hilt - 11cm
Sheath depth at throat - 7cm
Sheath depth at base - 6.5cm
Sheath width - 1.8cm
Blade depth at tip - 4.7cm
Blade depth at base - 3cm
Width of spine at tip - 0.1cm
Width of spine at base - 0.6cm
Guard - 4.8cm x 4.5cm x 0.4cm
Hilt - 8cm x 2.9cm x 2.5cm
Hilt butt plate - 5cm x 3cm


The scabbard and hilt structures match the look of many kukris I've seen. There's some corrosion at the base of the blade, presumably from contact with the sheath.

The blade has a very clear lamination pattern. I assume the maker etched the blade as the ricasso is unetched on both sides. I have a couple of large Naga dao with exactly the same lamination pattern.

The decoration on the blade is a form of punch dot in the form of flowers.

The sheath has what seems to be a Ghurka military badge attached. I've often seen these on tourist kukris, but they're usually quite thick. This one is 1mm thick and rounded to fit the shape of the sheath.

The hilt seems to have been plated and has worn. I can't tell whether it's brass that's been plated, or steel that's been gilded? Not really my field of expertise.

The blade is sharp and well balanced, and obviously designed for practical use.

I've never seen these two cultures combined in one weapon before, and hoped perhaps some of the more experienced collectors on this forum might have knowledge to add.
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Old 13th October 2020, 05:53 PM   #2
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Apologies - for some reason this posted to the wrong forum. Could I ask a moderator to move it? Thanks
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Old 14th October 2020, 10:28 PM   #3
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Love the pattern. I've seen one very similar attributed to the British Assam Regiment in WW2 or just after.
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Old 14th October 2020, 10:39 PM   #5
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Old 15th October 2020, 04:57 AM   #6
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I agree DhaDha. This is a presentation-grade Indian machete made for an Assam regiment. The scabbard appears to be a custom made piece. There is a very similar example in *Flooks' book, Plate 482--see here.
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Originally Posted by DhaDha
Love the pattern. I've seen one very similar attributed to the British Assam Regiment in WW2 or just after.
* Ron Flook, "British and Commonwealth Military Knives," (1999)
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Old 15th October 2020, 12:46 PM   #7
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Thank you gents for the responses - much appreciated. It's always satisfying to be able to clearly attribute a blade and learn something of its history.

The badge appears to be for the 5th Ghurka Rifles - seems to be very rough cast so it wouldn't be a surprise to find out it was for the tourist trade.

However, I see from a little research that the Assam Regiment comprises members of many cultural groups, including Ghurkas/Ghorkas. I wonder if there was any personnel crossover between the British Ghurka regiments and the Indian army? Just a supposition that a soldier may have kept a favoured weapon and had it re-sheathed to visually fit in. Or maybe it was just taken home after their service in the Assam regiment was completed and re-sheathed to personal taste.

Thanks again!
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