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Tibet knife: Tibetan waist knife

Tibetan knife, also known as the Tibetan waist knife, is not only an indispensable tool in the production and life of the Tibetan people, but also because of its shape, craftsmanship, etc. have unique national characteristics, enjoy a high reputation at home and abroad, and even when describing the characteristics of the Tibetan nation, always associate people with knives.


The Tibetan knife is not only a very practical utensil but also has a high artistic appreciation value. Nowadays, Tibetan knives are a very in-demand tourist commodity and gift and are loved by people. The blade is forged from steel and carefully processed by hand, with a sharp edge and a clear surface. Tibetan knives can be roughly divided into three types: long knives, short knives, and small knives in terms of specifications and sizes. The longest long knife is more than one meter, the short knife is about forty centimeters, and the small knife is only a dozen centimeters long. In terms of shape, it has strong local characteristics, with differences such as pastoral style, Khamba style, and post-Tibetan style; In terms of uses, there are also many kinds, such as special machetes, butcher knives for cutting trees in forest areas, and even authoritarian knives used in sky burial grounds. The handle of the hidden knife is mostly made of horns, ox bones, or wood, the higher-grade knife handle is wound with silver wire, copper wire, etc., and the scabbard is more exquisite, except for the simpler only wooden sheath or leather case, most of them are wrapped in brass, copper, and even covered with silver, and engraved with a variety of exquisite birds and beasts and flowers and plants, some are also inlaid with various gemstones, gold plating, etc., which is particularly gorgeous and rich.


The history of the hidden knife

According to history, as early as more than 2,000 years ago, some forest tribes on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau had mastered the smelting technology of copper, iron, and silver and began to forge waist knives, and various weapons also sprouted. But smelting is affected by many factors, in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the air pressure is low, the boiling point drops, so the temperature of smelting can not be raised, plus there is no coal on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the best heating material is only firewood, so before the Tubo Dynasty, Tibet's metal smelting was not very developed, and the sharpness and hardness of weapons were not very satisfactory.


After the Tubo Dynasty, Tibet's smelting technology has been greatly improved, and the Tibetan knife-making skills in various regions have also begun to bloom, and Tibetan knife-manufacturing techniques with their own characteristics have emerged, many of which have continued to this day, becoming the most splendid page of Tibet's intangible cultural heritage.