Kora (Nepal)

A large kora sword from Nepal

Code: CA11

This is an antique 18th Century A.D. Nepalese Kora (Khuda, Cora, Khora, Kouda) from Nepal. Similar weapons in nearby India are known as Kharga or Jamadhar Teg. The kora is classic example of this famous fighting sword of the Gurkas. It is in a good condition with wonderful patina. It measures 74cm overall length. The blade alone is 56cm long.  This iron hilt is traditional in design with disk-shaped guards.  The pommel is a turned iron minimal.

Kora blade tip detail

Kora swords were used in Nepal and North India for both fighting and sacrificial processes. They are quite similar, only the sacrificial sword is wider and heavier.

Sometime well after the 10th century A.D., the forward-angled blade appeared in Nepal. The kora was primary weapon of the early Gurkhas and other tribes in the area with the earliest examples known from the mid 18th century. The kora sword ranges in length from 18-28 inches, with the blade sharpened on the inside edge. The tip curves forward and flares out and down when held in the hand. Though the shape was completely useless for a thrust, the power in the downward cut was awesome.

The firearm assumed the place of principal weapon of the Gurkha. The kukri, which had many uses, was kept and the kora was discarded. Today the kora is only used as a ceremonial execution weapon of bullocks at the festival of Dasain (referred to as Dashera in India and by the original British Regiments).

Lord Egerton of Tatton, who writes: '[the Gurkhas'] national weapon is the kukri, originally a kind of bill-hook, for cutting through small wood in the dense low jungles of the Teraí and the Himalayans' (pg. 100). The Nepalese also use a larger knife, or sword, called a kora, which also has an inner cutting edge like the  khukuri."

The blades of koras show an expansion near the point, weighting the tip to provide a more powerful downward blow. Koras are generally ceremonial, and as Egerton remarks, 'those who use it skillfully are enabled to cut a sheep in two at a single blow'

Kora hilt detail

Kora Hilt Detail

A rack of Kora at Bagbhairab Temple

Bagbhairab Temple, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal. Koras from the battle of Kirtipur during the 1760`s.  
Photo: "Spiral", www.swordforum.com