Language: Nepali
Source: A 1931 dictionary


Haikale buṭṭā (हैकले बुट्टा) a kind of ornamentation on a khukri handle like a succession of hooks.1

Possibly derived off the Hindi haikal, meaning "an amulet with magic figures".


The term is somewhat puzzling, because although I am used to seeing decoration that could be described as "a succession of hooks" on khukurī in the silverwork or on the scabbard's embroidery, it's not the typical work I associate with the hilts.

Khukurī hilts often have a small engraved ornamental band in the center, which is usually either geometric or floral in nature.


Hook decoration kukri

Typical floral decoration on a khukurī hilt.
Are these the "hooks" Sir Ralph Lilley Turner is referring to?


Iron kukri hilt with silver overlays

Iron hilt with silver overlay, as found on a small group of high-end khukurī of the 19th century.
Although mostly floral, one could say the forms are a bit like hooks.


Work in the form of hooks on other parts

On the antique khukurī I've studied so far, there are indeed some patterns that are best described as a succession of hooks, but I've not found them on the handle yet.


Hook work on kukri

Some ornamentation on other parts of the khukurī that could be described as a succession of hooks.


Given the fact that buṭṭā (बुट्टा) can mean embroidery and openwork, it stands to reason that the above instances of work resembling a succession of hooks can also be called haikale buṭṭā (हैकले बुट्टा).


1. Sir Ralph Lilley Turner; A comparative and etymological dictionary of the Nepali language. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1931.

Do you have anything for sale?

I might be interested in buying it.

Contact me

Thought to have been presented by the Royal House of Nepal.


With pierced mounts and velvet-covered scabbard.


Named so after the two ridges that are formed on the bi-fullered blade.


With engraved spine and unusual all brass pommel.


A 19th-century piece with a simple blade but nicely carved hilt.


Signed: Ricky Milnes, India 44, Burma 44, Ramree 45.