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 17th and 18th 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 outdoors work like brush clearing and lighter chopping. Prying and batoning are not what this blade is engineered to do. While we do offer this blade with a performance or standard grind, the maximum level of cover we offer is that of our performance grind. 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 blades. 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.
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 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.
Lengths and weights are as follows:
15.5″: 9mm spine at bolster, 485g with a 5.5″ handle. Point of Balance is ~4.25″ from bolster.
17.5″: 11mm spine at bolster, 655g with a 6.25″ 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.