Gombojab Tsybikov (1873-1930), an ethnic Buryat from Russia, was a young scholar of oriental studies, when he went on a scholarly expedition to Tibet. Sponsored by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Tsybikov spent over a year in Lhasa (1900-1901), gathering materials and taking photographs of the city and environs, and introducing Tibet both academically and visually to the outside world. This paper examines the context of this trip within the larger issues of scholarship, international politics and modernization. In addition, it argues that Tsybikov was an example of a man caught between identities – that of an ethnic Buryat raised as a Buddhist and his Russian citizenship, education and patronage. He was, in a sense, the epitome of modern man.
Tsybikov, Tibet, travel, Buryat, Russia, Buddhism, identity
How to CitePidhainy, I., 2013. Tibet through the Eyes of a Buryat: Gombojab Tsybikov and his Tibetan relations. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 20(2). DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.92