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 Post subject: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:34 pm 
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I’ve always loved the classic Nepalese Army kukri, Longleaf, G.A.K, whatever you prefer to call it. The purchase of the Kathmandu cache put thousands of these fantastic kukri out there into the world. When I first started collecting kukri I bought one of each of the categories offered by IMA/AC: “Longleaf”, “Bhojpure” and “WWI”

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Amongst that cache there were around 200-300 “Papu” marked kukri (according to Ben Judkins’ article). Ben referred to these as “Budhune’s” which I believe translates as Big Belly (I’m sure someone can correct me if I’m wrong). They certainly are the polar opposite of a sirupate! These Papu kukri seem to represent the very best of the quality kukri seen in the Kathmandu cache. From what I have read, in 2008 there were only 102 Papu marked kukri left in the AC\IMA stash.
67 without spine markings:
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and 35 with spine markings:
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I believe the assumption is that these were made by one workshop in one high quality batch, whether this was for a specific prestigious unit I don’t know, but it seems possible.

I know that a number of our members own these kukri and I hope they don’t mind that I have included images of their kukri in this thread (Let me know if you’d rather not have yours displayed). I’ve coveted one of these for a while now, so it’s funny how kukri-hunting luck goes. Last night I got insomnia that woke me at 2am like it was 2pm. :shock: I trundled downstairs, made a cup of tea and sat down in front of the computer. I figured I’d take a look at the kukri on eBay to keep my eye dialled in, not that you can buy pointy things as a UK ebayer :(

I spotted a great looking longleaf with 15mins left to go on it, clicked on the pics:
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Nice. :)

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Really nice! :D

Expecting to get rejected by the site I decided on a whim to key in a bid for the same amount my hand selected longleaf cost me ($110 ish) and clicked…
You are the highest bidder!... I won! :mrgreen:
I don’t know what computational glitch allowed this to happen, but it’s already dispatched. Got to love eBay! :lol:
Sadly it’s missing it’s butt plate, but I’ll take what I can get with these Papu’s.

It would be great if our Nepali speaking/literate members were able to translate the spine inscriptions.
EDIT: Using the resources available I think it could be a poorly formed Shree, followed by the numbers 3 and 6.

This is the marking on the spine of my newest addition:
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The symbols on mine seem to be similar to those on the others:
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I can’t wait to get my hands on it. In the meantime I’d like to make this thread a repository for all things Papu related.

To kick things off, here are all the Papu marked kukri I could find using google image. It should provide a good reference library, showing the similarities and differences within this sub-group.

Ben’s
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Andreas’
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The Double D’s
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Krishna’s
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Spiral’s
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Sta’s
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4 miscellaneous examples
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From fist impressions the blades all seem very similar in terms of shape and size. They also all have the same deep and broad spine groove with a line carved underneath. There seems to be quite a bit of variance in the handles though. Perhaps the blades were produced en masse and the handles were tailored to their individual users?

Any and all comments are most welcome.


Last edited by Paul W on Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:47 pm 
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Well done Paul I wondered who won that you got a bargain there. I had a bid or two Earp and like you expected to get rejected. I must admit I'm glad it went to you. I shall keep faithful that and the foot marked kukri are on the list.

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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:46 pm 
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These Kukri remind me of meat cleavers!! I think to be able wield these with any sort of control, you'd have to have forearms like Popeye! Nice thread Paul, well done...have a gold star :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:07 pm 
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Thanks Captain, I've been due a bit of kukri luck. Hopefully you'll spot what you're after soon.

Thanks Dave! :lol:

dodgydave wrote:
These Kukri remind me of meat cleavers!! I think to be able wield these with any sort of control, you'd have to have forearms like Popeye!


I think you're right, at approx 50cm and 900g these kukri are monsters! I'll be interested to find out how it handles.


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:31 pm 
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dodgydave wrote:
Nice thread Paul, well done...have a gold star :lol:


Indeed - feel free to peel one off and put it on! :D
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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:39 am 
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Great find Paul! Despite their weight, judging from my one Id say there very well balanced, not at all clumsy.... Definatly a big hitter as well!

Look forward to a translation , when Krishnas not so busy. On mine {Which I picked up in Kathmandu} both the inscription & the buttcap had been carefully removed... as on many of them.

Enjoy!

spiral


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:30 am 
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:lol: Thanks Berkley! I'll wear it with pride

Spiral wrote:
Despite their weight, judging from my one Id say there very well balanced, not at all clumsy.... Definatly a big hitter as well!


That's great to hear, look forward to seeing if mine is the same. My longleaf / CGAK is currently my heaviest kukri, but that handles very well, better than many of my kukri that weigh more than 100g less. It is certainly true that length and weight alone do not tell the story of how well a kukri handles.

Dodgydave, I recall that you picked up a very large GAK not so long ago that was of similar dimensions to these papu kukri, how does that one feel in the hand? It'd be fascinating to compare the two types.


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:23 pm 
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A wonderful example Paul!

Pleased you managed to add this one to your collection, and put one over on THAT auction site!!

Quite green really, i still need to find a good example for myself!!


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:57 pm 
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Thanks Chris!

Well, it finally arrived. After a week long hold up for a £4 customs charge (which they then add £8 to for "handling" :x )

Image

It's a real beauty! Slightly disappointing in that it is at the small end of the spectrum for these Papu kukri. However, the handle is absolutely perfect for me and the balance and handling on such a large blade are superb, better than many of my pieces 100g or more lighter.

Specs:
Total Length: 48cm
Length of Blade: 38.5 cm
Length of Handle: 9.5 cm
Drop: 10 cm
Spine @ bolster: 1cm
@ belly: 8mm
@ tip: 3mm
Weight: 779 grams


The short handle is nice and thick and much more ergonomic than my other longleaf having had the top flare on the butt removed.
Image

The blade steel seems to be a bit better than my other CGAK (it looks to be tightly laminated, though not decoratively).

I love the deep spine groove which creates a real T spine
Image

The area above the inscription looks to have been sanded/filed to remove text. You can see the line of the spine ridge deviate in this section.
Image
Slightly blurry but you can see the altered section.
Image

and a comparison pic with my CGAK
Image

The Papu's balde is over a cm longer but all in all it's just under a cm shorter and 12g lighter.


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:55 pm 
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Well done Paul I bet you are rightly pleased with it.
It looks fantastic and that T section spine is great. I hope Krishna checks in and helps I'd the script.
I see another cache kukri went at 02.00 hrs from the same seller. Has insomnia struck again? :o
Great photos again Paul, always nice to see your posts.

Enjoy :mrgreen:
Captain.

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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:12 pm 
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Thanks Captain!

Captain wrote:
I see another cache kukri went at 02.00 hrs from the same seller. Has insomnia struck again? :o


No, I let that one go :wink: It looked great, especially with the european letters and numerals on the spine. It was just too close to the great "WWI" or machined GAK I have.


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Me too.
The markings were really interesting and very tempting. I must confess I had $60 tee',ed up ready to go but resisted.
Like you I have similar kukris from the cache, 2 GAK's(one from JP's collection), 2 Shorties (one with that inscription one from your good self) and two other candidates.
Anyhoo let's not digress from your latest kukri. It is a wonderful piece and an important find.

Captain.

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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:45 pm 
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I may be wrong Paul, but comparing the fuller to blade length & the shape I think it was probably slightly damaged & reground, historically by a Nepalese army employed Kami, Hence its shortness.

Whats the belly width on the blade?

Interesting to see original marks removed & others put on, my original marks were also filed off , along with the buttplate removel to make it appear more Nepali. {I think during the early 20th century Rana era "English" was seen as best, by the Nepali Prime minister.]

spiral


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:15 pm 
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Interesting observation Spiral, could be a possibility.

The blade length seems to be standard (using Ben's as a comparison, stats posted below).
Image
Example A
Total Length: 50 cm
Length of Blade: 38.5 cm
Length of Handle: 10.5 cm
Drop: 11 cm
Point of Balance: 14 cm from bolster.
Spine: 1 cm
Weight: 907 grams

Example B
Total Length: 49 cm
Length of Blade: 39.5 cm
Length of Handle: 9.5 cm
Drop: 10.5 cm
Point of Balance: 14 cm from bolster.
Spine: 1 cm
Weight: 855 grams

Example C
Total Length: 48.5 cm
Length of Blade: 38.5 cm
Length of Handle: 10 cm
Drop: 10 cm
Point of Balance: 14 cm from bolster.
Spine: .9 cm
Weight: 759 grams

Example D
Total Length: 49 cm
Length of Blade: 38.7 cm
Length of Handle: 9.5 cm
Drop: 11.5 cm
Point of Balance: 14 cm from bolster.
Spine: 1.1 cm
Weight: 896 grams


Ben doesn't list the belly measurements so I don't have a comparison, but mine is 7cm. Mine is closest to Example C, which has also has a modified looking handle.

It certainly has had some additional attention after it's original manufacture. As well as the removal of the inscription and the butt plate, the handle looks to have seen some work. It's smooth polished wood from bolster to ring, then from ring to butt there are numerous rough file marks, as if the end of the handle was reshaped, to a new owners liking perhaps? It wouldn't surprise me if a reasonable quantity of metal had been removed from the edge reprofiling it after damage as you suggest.


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 Post subject: Re: Papu marked kukri
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:21 pm 
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I also notice that there seem to be the same four kaudi types repeating on these kukri. Three are the ones I got on my kathmandu cache examples:

Image

The fourth is the large, round, epiglotis looking one (possibly the clitoris of Kali?)

Can anyone find a fifth?


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