Language: Nepali
Source: A 1931 dictionary

Description

Bĩṛ (बिँड़्) is the Nepali word for the handle of a khukurī.1

It literally means: Handle, haft, shaft. Khukri ko bĩṛ; the handle of a khukri.
Also pronounced bẽṛ.

khukurī handles were usually made of wood. Talauma Hodgsoni, called paṭpaṭe (पट्पटे) in Nepali is specifically mentioned for making them.

The better khukurī often had hilts of more precious materials. Buffalo horn is often seen, as is bone, and ivory. Metal hilts are also encountered, in particular iron, sometimes overlaid with silver.

 

Group of khukuri

A group of khukurī with hilts made of various materials.
Left to right: Bone, bone, wood, wood, wood, ivory, horn, steel with silver overlay, wood, wood with bone inlay, ivory.

 

Khukurī hilts were often glued over a short tang. Because natural materials shrink over time, many old khukurī handles develop a lengthwise split, called caṛkinu (चड़्किनु); To crack, split (e.g. dewāl caṛkyo the wall cracked, khukuri ko bẽṛ carkieko cha the haft of the khukri is split).

This is rarely associated with any play in the handle, most stay tight regardless.

 

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

 

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

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