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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With a very fine Nepalese blade, but kard-like hilt and scabbard.


Early type with very shallow notch in the blade and little flare in the pommel.


20th century military khukurī with many different tools in its back pocket.


Simple piece with a beautiful blade profile.


Very large presentation kukri from the Sundarijal Arsenal in Nepal.


An understated, elegant khukuri of substantial proportions with fine layered blade.