Khukuri Dance

Image of Khukuri DanceBefore I jump to the Khukuri Dance, I would like to describe in a few words the Khukuri itself. The Khukuri is the renowned national weapon of Nepal and the Gurkhas. The Nepali boy at an early age necessarily becomes skilful in its use long before reaching manhood. The Khukuri is a tool of all work, at home in the hills and on active service it will be used for cutting wood, hunting and skinning, opening tins, clearing undergrowth and any other chore. When they join the army, the Khukuri becomes the soldiers dominant arm. This is important, because it is not the weight and edge of the weapon that makes it so terrible at close quarters so much as the skilled technique of the stroke; it can claim to be almost impossible to parry.

In 1767 Prithiwi Narayan Shahdev, King of Gorkha, invaded the Nepal valley; in September 1768 Kathmandu surrendered and Prithiwi Narayan became the first King of Nepal. That his troops defeated much larger forces must be credited at least in part to their unusual weapon, the Khukuri. It is reasonable to suppose that this was the beginning of the universal custom of Nepalese troops carrying the khukri, a custom that spread in time to Gurkhas serving in the British and Indian Armies.

The Khukuri Dance is the title given to a display pattern the Gurkha soldier performs on various occasions such as Ceremonial parades, cultural shows and especially during the performance by the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas. This dance is very popular within the Gurkhas Brigade. It is not known exactly when and from where this dance derives, but it is believed that the dance was derived from the occasion of celebration, when the soldier returned back from the war with glory of victory. Later it has been performed on various occasions to entertain the audience. The dance it self is a combination of patterns of drill, where the dancers demonstrate their skills of handling the Khukuri. To perform this dance there is not any particular song or music on which this dance must be based. It can be performed using any types of songs or music which is rhythmically suited for the drill.

Thanks to those who introduced such a remarkable display. The Gurkhas still with pride and joy present this dance to entertain the people and equally to keep their tradition and culture alive.