The kamis sometimes decorate the handles of khukuris with carvings.
Here are some examples.
This one represents a "garud" or dragon.
This is a snow leopard.
Sanu made this near perfect 15 inch, 1.25 lb. AK with silver mountings
Very nicely carved and varnished by Bhimsen. The scabbard almost looks like the hill walnut but I am not a wood man so can't swear to it. Sanu made the silver mountings for the scabbard and they are just about perfect. BM 12/2000
This khukuri is of Nepalese origin from the mid 19th century. It is a nice example with the carved ivory grips. The small knives are carved as "bagh" or lions. They offer protection to the person who carries them. JP 7/2001
The fearsome face in the carving above belongs to 'Kirtimukha' (also known as 'Chepu' in Newari) who is a protective deity. he is always depicted with just the head, two forearms and chomping on a snake/serpent.
The other image could just be the artists imagination or a seashell which indicates blessedness. JP 7/01
Ganesh, Hindu god of good fortune, can be recognized by his elephant head. HW 7/01
These are some of the symbols and meanings found on some kothimoras.
The ugly guy with only a head and hands is "Kirtimukha". Sanskrit for
"the face of glory", he is always hungry and is
a protective deity
The "mayura" or peacock is viewed as a general symbol of good luck and prosperity. It is used in both Hindu and Buddhist culture and is "pancha raksha" or one of the 5 protective deities. Because of its resistance to poison, it has become the symbol for longevity.
The piece on the right also has crossed thunderbolts above Kirtimukha. Hindu: "Varja", Buddhist: "dorje". If it is one alone it represents the wisdom of enlightened beings. When crossed it is the symbol for creation and regeneration. Tibetan belief holds that the creation of the universe was initiated with the crossing of 2 dorje.
upper left: "makara" (maybe) a combination of animals and symbols that represent abundance and fertility
lower left: lion, or in Nepalese "bagh": Buddhist and Hindu and while may be associated with the divine. Gods use the lion as their transport and if you have this symbol with you it will offer protection
upper right: good example of a single "dorje" or lightning bolt
lower right: this is "Durga" and she is the most popular divinity in
the Kathmandu Valley. Also called Devi or Bhagwati she is the female energy
in Shiva and is the divine spirit in all women. She rides a lion and is
the slayer of Mahisa, the buffalo demon (and others) and by doing this
she restores order to the universe. To celebrate her victory buffaloes
(and goats, birds, etc.) are sacrificed during her festival of Dasain.
JP - 7/01
Carved ivory grip early 19th or late 18th c.
Carved scabbard with ivory grips.
Makara, the dragon of abundance and fertility.
JP - 11/02
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