Choora from Afghanistan

Code:  CA1

This Afghan Choora (Chhurá)  Dagger dates from the early 20th Century. It is mounted with a T-shaped blade that measures 8 3/4 inches in length. The blade remains in nice condition with only minor staining. The simple horn grips have also survived nicely and remain sturdy. The wooden scabbard is leather covered with a portion of the leather now missing near the throat, nevertheless remains in good, serviceable condition. Overall measuring 13 inches in length.

Choora from Afghanistan, blade detail

The Choora is the knife the Mahsud, a tribe of the Khyber pass area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This dagger is a member of the family of knives known by various names. Although this knife is believed to be from Afghanistan, the same type of knife, called a Pesh-Kabz / Pishqabz (“foregrip”), is also found in Northern India, Persia and central Asia. This type of weapon was widely used in all areas of North India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other central Asian countries. The purpose of the weapon is to penetrate mail armor, and for that purpose they can hardly be improved. They all have a similar shape of blade and differ in the shape of hilt and decoration.   

The blade of a Pesh-Kabz / Choora is one its most striking features. The blade has a ”T” cross-section, with a pronounced back and a strong, slender tip.  As a rule, the blade is straight. 

“This knife is obviously intended for forcing an opening in mail; and as a piece of engineering design it could hardly be improved upon for this purpose.” (Stone, Arms and Armour, p.494)