Not only is the Yakut knife part of cultural heritage, but it is now also used successfully for household needs. It played the role of an awl in making holes for threading through burials, butchering animal carcasses, and preparing fish and meat for flattening.
Traditional knives were a must-have tool for all Yakuts, not a single copy. The knife was made specifically for both appropriately sized children and women.
Mild steel was used for the blade of the Yakut knife, which could be quickly corrected and sharpened on-site.
( See: Professional Kitchen Chef Knives )
Characteristics of “Yakut”
- Yakut knives have a distinct size and shape that have hardly changed over the years. Some parameters are still supported.
- Blade length – 110-170 mm (most common form)
- Blade sharpening – single-side asymmetrical sharpening
- The shape of the blade is convex, and there is a drill on the other side
- Blade material – Mild steel that allows you to quickly edit/sharpen knives in the “field”
- Handle length – 130-150 mm
- the scabbard is a necessity
- History of the Yakut knife
Reliable information about exactly when this knife appeared has been preserved, neither in writing nor in images, so the history of the knife cannot be tracked. There is a version that the Yakuts used imported metals for the manufacture of knives, but another opinion is not refuted – they could themselves smelt the ore into the necessary metal. In the written records when the lore was collected, one can find mention that the most frequently used were imported metals.
However, the origin of the emergence of the unique shape of the Yakut knife has been traced. This is a clear repetition of the bones of large animals, as they served as knives in ancient times.
Is the Yakut knife a cold weapon?
Most Yakut knives are not cutlery, but household tools. No permit or license is required to purchase such a knife. The manufacture and carrying of such knives were prohibited in the Soviet Union, but practically no one paid attention to this traditional knife. Each fisherman in the Far North has such a knife. Also, the Yakut knife is an obligatory attribute of the national costume.
- Features of the Yakut knife
- Features include blade length variability.
- The most common size is 110-170mm and the knife is called “bokeh”
- For children and women – 80-110 mm is called “byhychcha”
- Large knives “Hothon” can be used as full-fledged military weapons, so they are made very rarely from 170 mm.
- There is another option called “Buy”. With a blade length of about 500mm, it is a full-fledged real sword, and the shape and sharpening methods are the same as those of a small one.
- Blade widths also vary.
- Tundra – characterized by narrow edges.
- Taiga / alas – the blade is wide.
The first option is used when hunting and fishing. It’s easier to pierce the skin or pierce a wooden blank. Taiga conditions require a Knife with a wide blade for more convenient cutting of animal carcasses and wood processing.
Blades have mandatory fullers, lengths, and locations, which can vary from master to master. Someone brings it closer to the handle, someone cuts almost the entire width of the blade. Yakut knife dollars are called “you”. The emergence of ‘you’ is not just a tribute to the traditions in which our ancestors made knives out of bone and the role of the valley was played by a natural hollow under the marrow. Also, with the help of “Joss”, he saved the scarce steel and played a role in blood flow when cutting corpses.
Mild steel was used to make the blades, but modern manufacturers offer harder grades of Yakut and Damascus knives. Although this is very practical, it is no longer the real weapon of the peoples of the North, steel grades such as 65×13, 95×18, X12MF, and Damascus are used.
Handles are traditionally made of birch burl impregnated with oil that prolongs the life of the handle. The cross-section resembles an egg shape for better grip and comfort. In a real Yakut knife, the handle is always longer than the blade and the width of a man’s palm. With such a handle, the knife becomes more versatile and practical, and dismembering the corpse becomes more convenient. There are no extras such as guards and no emphasis on knives.
A scabbard is a mandatory attribute for wearing a Yakut knife. They are made of leather, often from oxtails stripped with stockings. A wooden insert is placed in it, into which the knife sinks up to 1/3 of the handle. The blade hangs freely on the wooden insert.
Thanks to this design and the fact that the knife is fixed to the scabbard, it is possible to freely insert and remove the knife, which is stained with frozen blood and grease, such as when hunting in winter or slaughtering prey in cold regions.
If the knife and sheath are traditionally made, such knives can be removed with one hand by placing the thumb on the mouth of the sheath.
How to sharpen right-handed and left-handed Yakut knives
Yakut knives should be sharpened only from the right side of the trough for right-handers, and from the left side for left-handers. Apply the bur at an angle of less than 5° and sharpen from top to bottom until a thin shiny line (“key line”) appears on the edge.
It is fine to sharpen the knife on one side only, but if the “clan” bends due to use, could you correct it a little?
How to hold a Yakut knife
Traditionally, a blade or cord is screwed into the sheath and attached to the belt. Under the left hand – on the right side, under the right hand, respectively on the left side. Knives can be hung freely so as not to interfere with walking.
Anyone who wants to buy a Yakut knife can buy it in a specialized store or directly from a Yakut master, each knife has all the necessary documents and the cost varies from 3,000 rubles for him to 20,000 rubles for him. Outside Yakutia, you can also buy decent knives. It is better if it is factory production because all the nuances are already debugged there. The knife fully complies with all the standards of Yakut knives and has high Wedding potential. Minimize.