Gonbochzhab Tsybikov

Tsybikov, Gonbochzhab Tsebekovich


Born 1873 in the village of Urdo-Aga, in what is now the Aga-Buriat Autonomous Okrug (formerly Aga-Buriat National Okrug); died 1930 in the settlement of Aginskoe. Soviet ethnologist and linguist; a Buriat by nationality.

Tsybikov graduated from the faculty of Oriental languages of the University of St. Petersburg in 1899. Between 1899 and 1902, on behalf of the Russian Geographic Society, he visited Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, disguised as a lama making a pilgrimage; he was the first traveler from Russia to visit the city, which was closed to foreigners at that time. In his book A Buddhist Pilgrimat the Sacred Shrines of Tibet (1919), Tsybikov gave a complete account of life in Tibet. He brought back with him a valuable collection of approximately 300 Tibetan books. Over a period beginning in 1914 he was a professor of Mongolian language and literature in Vladivostok, Irkutsk, and Ulan-Ude. Tsybikov wrote several works on Tibetan and Mongolian philology, including A Textbook of Mongolian (2nd ed., 1929).