Language: Nepali
Source: A 1931 dictionary


Karda (कर्द) is the Nepali word for a small utility knife that was traditionally carried in the scabbard of a khukurī.1

The term comes from the Persian word kard (کرد), meaning "knife". A typical khukurī carries one, but some carry two of them in their scabbards.

Karda typically follow a similar construction as their parent khukurī, with wood, horn, bone, silver or ivory hilts and a metal bolster. The blades are usually more straight than khukurī.

Other items typically stored in the khukurī scabbard alongside the main knife are:

Khisā (खिसा); a small purse for carrying tinder, called jhulo (झुलो), literally meaning "fiber".
Cakmak (चक्मक्); a fire striker / sharpening steel.


Khukuri with two karda

A fine khukurī with two wood hilted karda.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2020.



Ivory hilted karda

A pair of ivory hilted karda with silver bolsters, matching the construction of their parent khukurī.
Author's collection.


Kukri with scabbard

A fine mutiny era khukurī with two wood hilted karda.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2020.


Kukri scabbard

Silver hilted karda and cakmak in the scabbard of a kothimora khukurī.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2020.


Further study

For a complete overview of khukurī terminology, see my article: A Nepalese khukurī glossary.


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

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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.