Search and filters

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

With iron, silver overlaid hilt. Its associated scabbard features fine quillwork.


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


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


An exceptionally large example with a desirable three fullered blade.