Kuki Naga Tukhemmi Axe

Kuki Naga Tukhemmi. Photo courtesy of Auctions Imperial.

Photo courtesy of Auctions Imperial

Code IP27

This is an interesting, rare and controversial edged weapon.  Many implements did double duty for work and defense. This axe, as suggested by the haft, could easily be used to cut roots in the ground or to clear tall crops. Such a tool is often referred to as a "Mak" in southeast Asia. On the other hand, the blade is almost certainly one from a dao typical of the Kuki Naga tribe in Assam.  The haft is said to be typical in shape to those farther south and east.


  • Overall Length (OAL): 34 inches
  • Blade Length: 11 inches
  • Blade Width: 3 inches at the widest portion (measured top spike to bottom edge)
  • Blade Thickness: 1/4 inch tapering distally 

The Kuki tribe was first described as living in the hills of Chittagong, on the east side of the lower Brahmaputra valley near its mouth at the Bay of Bengal. The Kuki were head-hunters like the Nagas and gave the people living on the plains much trouble with their raids. They preferred to rove and not to cultivate, a fact that makes this tool especially obscure. Pressure from southern tribes drove them north and into conflict with the established Naga tribes. The Kuki were also known as the "Naked Naga" for the propensity to hunt while sparsely garbed or nude.

Naga Dao Shapes

Naga Dao Shapes