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      What is a pichak knife?

      The word pichak means knife in Uzbek. It is alternatively spelled as pichok, pichoq and pchak. It is a beautiful, ornamental knife that is, however, first and foremost used in everyday cutting, slicing and dicing operations in the kitchen.

      Aesthetically pleasing, the ornamental handle is much narrower than the blade, resulting in an ergonomic grip that allows for more intensive usage of the knife.

      The blade itself is always of stainless steel and in many cases recycled from automobiles and other industrial components.

      What is the significance of pichak knives?

      Connection to other aspects of local culture is infused in pichak knives. It is a tool and piece of art that accompanies so many different, traditional and symbolic manifestations of the local way of life. Slicing a melon in the hot summer days, dicing onions to make samsa or cutting meat to make plov are all accompanied by the stern and efficient presence of the pichak knife. It is a partner and companion that makes other things possible. It works in symbiosis with other accomplices. And sometimes it too may be in need of its own supporting partner, as in the case of the sharpening method used by most people at home, which is to simply pull the blade along the edge of the base of the piyala, the Central Asian tea cup.

      Besides being a tool, it is at times a sort of an amulet as well. A tradition that exist among the people of the region is that knives protect against evil spirits. As such, when not in use, a pichak can be found lying under a baby’s crib, strategically placed below the end where the child’s head is to be found.

      In ancient times it was also a weapon. Every man, young and old, would carry it with him wherever they went, mainly for practical food related purposes, but also in case justice would need to be served.

      Pichak knife with Damascus handle, buy it in the shop here

      Where can you find pichak knives?

      The ancient city of Chust in the Fergana Valley is known as the center of pichak knife production. The tradition of blacksmiths and especially of knife production goes back millenia in the town, with a dedicated neighborhood in the center still focused on this craft. Today, the best knives of Uzbekistan are considered to be the ones produced there and the National Knife Factory is also located there.

      The knives produced in Chust are sold all over the country, mainly in bazars and handicraft shops. Since production is still virtually completely hand-made, each knife is unique and will have the special characteristics of the master that produced it.

      On Silkway Bazar we only sell authentic, traditional pichak knives directly from the best craftsmen of Chust and other centers of production, such as Bukhara. The knives come directly from the masters, without any middlemen involved.

      Pichak knife with cream colored handle. Buy it in the shop here

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