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Old 19th September 2021, 10:28 PM   #1
RobT
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Default Interesting Choora Inscription

Hi All,

I just picked up this choora which I believe is very recently made. The hilt scales and ears are plastic (made to imitate butterscotch amber perhaps?). Other than the choice of hilt material, the knife is traditionally made. The workmanship and functionality are commensurate with good quality 19th century chooras. The sheath (also traditionally made) is brown leather wrapped wood. The leather has been pierced to show red and silver foil inserts. What is really surprising is the "MADE IN K G" inscription (brass inlay) on the blade. K G is the recognized abbreviation for Kyrgyzstan which is separated from Afghanistan by Tajikistan. Does anyone know if chooras are commonly carried in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan? I assume that the country of origin designation was made in English because the knife was made for sale to US troops in Afghanistan?

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 20th September 2021, 02:12 AM   #2
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Official abbreviation for Kyrgizstan is KGZ.i have never heard of Ch’huras there.
Kyrghiz belong to Turkic tradition, and all their knives I have seen and read about are variations of Bichaq, p’chaq.

How about Khwaja Ghar district of Takhar province? Located right close to Khyber, next to Tadjikistan.
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:27 AM   #3
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Ariel,

Thanks for the response. Your explanation sounds more plausible but there seems to be a bit of confusion about Kyrgistan's official abbreviation. Initially, I did a search for "made in KG" and came up with a bunch of sites using Cyrillic. Then I found one that said that the Kyrgistan's official abbreviation was KG (Kyrgyzstan - Abbreviation Finderhttps://www.abbreviationfinder.org). I also found a site ("ISO [Internationa Standard for Organization] Country Codes for Selected Countries - Citing Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf") which lists KG as the official abbreviation for Kyrgyzstan. Wikipedia also lists the official ISO 3166 code as KG.

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RobT
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Old 20th September 2021, 05:48 AM   #4
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I got my version from the official list of the US Department of State, Dept. of Consular Affairs: KGZ. Hope they know:-)
Google “Kyrgizstan official abbreviation”
The abbreviation on your Ch’hura is written as K-G( with a dash, implying 2 separate words), not as KG.
You may also google “knives Kyrgizstan” and try to find something similar to the ch’hura.
Ch’hura is an exceedingly specific knife: even in Afghanistan it is seen only in the vicinity of the Khyber Pass.

Best I could do.
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Old 20th September 2021, 11:08 AM   #5
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Of course, the choora is now widespread throughout Afghanistan and samples of this dagger can be found in the bazaar in any city in this country. But, of course, Ariel is right when he says that these weapons are very specific and associated exclusively with Afghanistan. Chooras were not used in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
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Old 20th September 2021, 03:34 PM   #6
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Just to make your life easier:
https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-acronyms.html

Also pay attention that all abbreviations contain at least 3 letters, sometimes even 4, but never only two: otherwise, Chad, Chile and China would become a single entity CH ( but not C-H)'

Ch'hura is a purely Afghan object and name. Even its name is of Hindi origin ( " knife"), to which Kyrgyzstan has nothing in common.

Gosh, what kinds of strange nooks and crannies of languages do we enter on this Forum :-)
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Old 23rd September 2021, 01:28 AM   #7
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Hi All,

Thanks for your input and information. Whatever the KG stands for, it isn't Kyrgyzstan.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 27th September 2021, 08:39 AM   #8
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KG is indeed kyrgizstan or can be.. but ive neevr seen a knife like that.. KG can also be kashgar. but this knife has a little bit of age on it not old but its not made last week and somebody carried it.. heres what i think.. afghans dont make knives these days, and for quite some time they were buying them form the uyghurs, tajiks and uzbeks.. there is several tajik and uzbek knife making areas in - if i recall osh and biskek that make knvies for the kyrgiz. it can be indeed that its made in kyrgizstan and for afghan customers by tajik knife makers for example. but its far to "traditional" for the most recent products made in these places for their own consumption,, same with the uyghur knife makers.. most knives made these days are just regular buchak or lil clip point bowies or other sort of more utility styles.. (these type of knife were made in the past and you can see illistrations fo them from kashgar and bukhara ect.) i would guess its either from kashkar or from kyrgizstan and indeed made to sell, but not to any americans but to local afghans.. you can see some footage of pashtuns wearing these and some look recently made.. i was watching a documentary the other day of female to male crossdressing customs among pashtuns in afghanistan and one woman in mans attair had what looks to eb a recently made pesh kabz knife and pistol on a pistol belt.... and ive seen several other in images that appear recently made..

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Old 1st October 2021, 04:58 AM   #9
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Default But Why in English?

Ausjulius,

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that there possibly is a knife making center in Kyrgizstan that is making traditional style chooras for export to Afghanistan because the Afghanis no longer make their own blades. While I consider this a plausible idea, I do wonder why the country of origin is given in English. I doubt most Afghanis could read it. I had also considered the possibility that these chooras were made as much for foreign troops as for the native Afghan market but then I asked myself, would a foreign soldier care about country of origin on a war bring back and concluded that wasn't likely.

Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 2nd October 2021, 05:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT View Post
Ausjulius,

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that there possibly is a knife making center in Kyrgizstan that is making traditional style chooras for export to Afghanistan because the Afghanis no longer make their own blades. While I consider this a plausible idea, I do wonder why the country of origin is given in English. I doubt most Afghanis could read it. I had also considered the possibility that these chooras were made as much for foreign troops as for the native Afghan market but then I asked myself, would a foreign soldier care about country of origin on a war bring back and concluded that wasn't likely.

Sincerely,
RobT
no idea if they make chooras.. but they make all manner of knives. ". I doubt most Afghanis could read it." yep.. . no the knife is not made to sell to Americans.. you could sell those american troops a sharpened carrot for 50$. like the fake turquoise the indians and afghans sold to the american troops in kabul 20 cents but they were taking 300$ of dollars. nobody made any effort to supply some ethnically accurate, an afghan knife to an american soldier who dosnt know the difference between that and any other knife, whats the difference...... .. its made for the afghans. spending money to import it just for Americans from a place where its not popular makes no sense.
why put English.. why not..? you want them you put Cyrillic that afghans also dont read? or Pushtu in arabic script that tajiks making knives in kyrgizstan dont read? what language do you want them to put on the knife? English is good .. people like it, shows "quality" ive seen uyghur knives with English on them too... lots of fake guns in pakistan have English jibberish too.

this knife is made for afghans to buy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iPEzIg6Fc4 here you can see knife making in Charikar, a pashtun village near kabul.. they make these there too but the quality is so so and the production dosnt meet the demand, mostly due to the conflict situation.. .. hence afghans importing so many knives. its just like the iraqis importing the persians knives in large numbers.

Last edited by ausjulius; 3rd October 2021 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 7th October 2021, 01:18 AM   #11
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Default Why Not Pashto?

Why not give the country of origin in Pashto? The alphabet is basically Arabic. While most people in Kyrgizstan or Tajikistan don't speak Pashto, surely there are enough there that could write a simple "Made In" phrase. I can never recall seeing an item made in Japan, China or India that was exported to the US with the country of origin in Kanji, Hanzi or Devanagari. I would assume that the bulk of those populations don't speak English either. Furthermore, the country of origin is always given as "Made In" followed by the name of the country as it is commonly known in the US (not Nihon, Zhongguo or Bharata). All non-western and non-new world country of origin labels I have seen follow this format. (Curiously, western and new world exporters often give the country of origin in their native language [ie Hecho En Mexico]).
If the intent of the "Made In K G" phrase on my knife was simply to lend a certain cachet to the item, why not just use gibberish instead of an actual phrase that makes sense? Presumably, the intended customers wouldn't know the difference.

Sincerely,
RobT
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