Gelbu history

Joined
Nov 19, 2011
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217
Folks, I gave one of my 18" gelbus to my sister as a gift. I could tell her all about HI and the kamis but realized I don't know a great deal about how the gelbu design came into being. Do you have a web page you can point me at or tell me more?

Thank you!
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
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5,431
Sounds like Howard Wallace is the man to talk to.

...The Gelbu Special was designed after a villager khukuri from the village of Udhaipur, currently in my posssession. I've often wondered if this prototype was the work of old Ganga Ram, who hailed from the same village.

Uhudaipurkhuk.jpg


The prototype is very much lighter than the HI Gelbu Special model inspired by its design. It is one of my favorite working blades. After years of use and abuse it has a big epoxy and sawdust patch on the handle to repair a chip where I dropped it on the concrete, and a blob of JB Weld on the butt end where the keeper came off.

I took this to a rendezvous of knife guys and they wanted to see how their various expensive knives (a couple Busse's, some other comparable) compared with chopping. I brought out my khukuris and they wouldn't even let most of them into the competition. They were so obviously choppers that it wouldn't have been interesting. However, they did let the littlest one, the little Udhaipur villager, compete. It was still the best chopper.

You can read about it at http://www.himalayan-imports.com/faq/Styles2.htm . Scroll down to Udhaipur.

The artists at HI obviously took some liberties with the design, beefing it up considerably to become the Gelbu Special.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2010
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Another worthy note is that the blade is actually named after Pala's son or Auntie's brother.
Pala mentioned if he's given the authority to issue khukuri to the Gurkha Regiment it would be this model.

I couldn't agree more. It does everything equally well.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
217
Thank you. Will pass this info along. I want to write up a small sheet about HI and info about the Gelbu design over the weekend.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
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5,431
Here's another mention of the information that Jay provided:

...For whatever this might be worth -- based on 6 years service in the Assam Rifles Pala said if he were in charge of the Gorkhas serving in the Indian Army the Gelbu Special would be the standard issue. He has a very high regard for this khukuri. And, not because it is named after son, Gelbu. It is actually a BirGorkha version of an old, tried and proven village model.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
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509
Yeah that story makes me want one as well. I've got to stop hanging out here.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
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803
Gelbu Special-#1 in my estimation. A great all-round khukuri. Or as Homer might say: MMMMMM, Udhaipuri.
 
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