Pichoq (Chust)

NC3 Uzbek Pichoq

Code NC3

This is a contemporary pichoq (pichok, pchak, pechak, P'chak) from Chust, Uzbekistan. Knives from this city have had great popularity that extends far beyond the Namangan region, justly famous for the craft of knife making. The blade is decorate with “Tamga” Islamic marks (stars) and the Cyrillic letters "Чуст" (Chust).

The pichoq is the traditional personal working knife of of the Central Asian peoples such as the Uzbeks and Uighurs.The shape of the pichoq has remained largely unchanged since it first appeared in the late 15th Century.

Unfortunately, before the break up of the old Soviet Union the manufacture and ownership of these knives was a criminal offense.  Pieces older than the Soviet revolution were destroyed or confiscated.

Like many other peoples all over the world, those in Central Asia have imbued the knife with certain superstitious powers.  It is believed that sharp objects gain the force to protect families as they are cared for over time. The pichoq becomes an amulet that repels misfortune, illness, and wards the family in other ways. The Uzbek knife is not principally a weapon.  Like the jambiya of the mid-East, the pichoq emphasizes the prestige and social status of the owner. A wide selection of hilt types are found, both wooden and bone.

Since Uzbeks and others of Central Asia have regained their independence from Russia, they have started once again to make their traditional edged weapons.

Compare the style and shape of this pichoq with the bichaq (Turkish pronunciation) from Bosnia and the pichangatti from India. Smiths from Central Asia traveled to distant lands where demand for their skills was high. The influence from their travels is evident in many regional designs.

Category: Knife