This is a Nepalese weapon and utility tool called the kukri. It is the signature weapon of the Nepali army and of the Gurkhas, who are Nepali soldiers in the British Army. My father described of how his grandfather was a member of the Nepali army, and this was one of the weapons he preserved and handed to my grandfather. On their farm, my grandparents also used blades like this one to cut crops or kill animals. My grandmother kept the blade after my grandfather's death and brought it with her to America as she was aging and ill. She gifted the kukri to my father before her passing. It now sits on its pedestal on a bookshelf in our kitchen. I was not allowed to unsheathe the knife until recently; it came with a certain responsibility and understanding of our past. I never knew that my family had a military background of any sort. This project really exposed me to new information about my culture and heritage. The knife is representative of the passing of the times. It has been a gift from three generations ago, and something I expect to inherit as well. My father explained to me that it will play a role in my marriage, and one day, it will rest atop my bookshelf.

Year: 1990

– Trishant Chhetry

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