Nestled away in the western province of Salyan, exists a style of khukuri which has resisted change or outside influence in way that others haven’t. The Salyani is distinguished by it’s deeply curved, almost crescent shaped form which helps it to snare light material while performing brushwork or deliver deep, tearing cuts on softer targets. This Hanshee khukuri shape has a lot more in common with the wartime khukuris of the 18th and 19th century than what you’d find in the hands of nepali villagers nowadays.
The specific blade we’ve chosen to model our Salyani after is a historical piece that’s an excellent example of how these khukuris once had a stronger focus on their capabilities as a weapon while showcasing the extreme ornamentation that could be found on these knives. The long, gorgeous central fuller is filled to the brim in traditional engravings named Butta and saves weight while also looking incredible. The long, slim handle of this piece originally would have been used with one or two hands and features a band of carved floral designs and more pronounced and ornate grip ring. The original blade had a sunken tang with no active retention, so to stop it coming loose over time this handle deviates from the traditional design through a thin plate which sits flush against the pommel and is peened down solidly. This adds longevity and security while keeping the feel in hand of the blade as close to the original as possible- and what a feeling.
Don’t let the high spine thickness fool you. This blade features intense distal taper that quickly settles into one of the slimmest and leanest blades we can make. This keeps the mass distributed close to the hand for a blade that feels light for it’s weight, and fast for its length while still feeling reassuring and stable in hand. This is helped along by a very high, smoothly hollowed primary grind that trims weight and bites extremely deeply. These features help make the salyani an absolute joy in hand for martial artists.
Because of the uncompromising build, particularly near the tip, we only rate this for martial arts applications and outdoors work like brush clearing and lighter chopping. Prying, batoning and hard chopping are not what this blade is engineered to do and we can’t cover them under our usual performance grind warranty. If you’d like a harder working version, we can very easily beef the whole blade up for you as a custom.
The final thing about the salyani that makes this blade so unique is the scabbard, the most laborious and refined of all the scabbards made at Kailash. The buffalo leather used is soaked in a concoction of brine, lime, crushed roots and herbs for up to 4 weeks, while periodically being scrubbed, kneaded and rubbed with the villager’s feet. Finally it is removed and treated with mustard paste then given a final kneading and scrubbing process which goes on for hours. The end result is a supremely soft and supple leather, which has substantially increased longevity and resistance to rotting. It also has a beautiful mottled texture, which when embossed with beautiful and subtle traditional patterning gives this scabbard a look and feel unlike anything else available. Our leather is sourced from a nearby village and is made by Sisir’s father- the man that trained him to be a sheathmaker.
The standard 15.5″ version has the broadest appeal. The lower weight and shorter length helps to keep the blade flowing fast and beautifully in hand but the deep curve allows for fierce cuts and chops.
The 17.5″ pattern takes the same dynamics but ups the skill and control required on the users part. But with that skill comes even greater rewards, with higher tip speed and more powerful strikes. The Historical handle is also longer and thicker, and is better suited for larger users as a result. It also allows for the use of off hand support in strikes if required. It can be seen in the last two pictures of the gallery as well as a brown salyani sheath available by request in your order notes.
The salyani differs from other blades in our lineup in that we have 2 handle patterns. The standard handle option is the Historical pattern, which follows the long and slim shape of the original piece including handle ring positioning, opening up the unique utility of these earlier long handled hanshee blades. Due to the slim cross section and extra grip length this handle is universal and does not need to be scaled to fit your hand. We do scale it up to match the 17.5″ blade however.
It also has our 3 standard handle lengths available. These use a more familiar, thicker and shorter handle shape- great for a tailored, snug one handed grip with high retention and comfort. While this handle style was not present on this exact reference piece, it existed concurrently and was paired with blades of this general style (though uncommonly). A 15.5″ blade with 4.75″ handle can be seen in the last row of the image galley.
Lengths and weights are as follows:
15.5″: 9.5mm spine at bolster, 510g with a 5.5″ historical handle. Point of Balance is ~4.25″ from bolster.
17.5″: 10.5mm spine at bolster, 630g with a 6.25″ historical handle. Point of Balance is ~4.5″ from bolster.
With master craftmanship, timeless beauty and deadly function all intersecting in a single blade, the salyani is the pinnacle of what our traditional blades have to offer.
Before Purchase, please read through our Options Info page as well as Warranty and Factory Seconds for information on all the different options and grind types we offer and how they affect the level of warranty you’ll receive.