Notes on the study of Lephca by Dr René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz

Scope and Content

Files containing working papers of Dr. René Nebesky-Wojkowitz, relating to his study of Lepcha. Includes linguistic notes; notebook entitled 'Lepcha-Studien', 15 Apr-15 May 1951, containing typescript; list of Lepcha works; list of Lepcha manuscripts at SOAS Library; typescript articles by Nebesky-Wojkowitz, including 'Dir Leptchas im Zentralen Himalaya', 'Die Bruder des Bambus. Bei den Leptschas im sikkimesischen Himalaya: Ein Expeditionsbericht von Dr. René Nebesky-Wojkowitz; catalogue of Lepcha manuscripts - collection of Dr. J. van Manen'; manuscript notes on Lepcha medicine, Lepcha songs; 'List of Lepcha manuscripts of the Hodgson Collection preserved at the India Office Library, London'; notes on Kiranti script (old-style); notes in Lepcha religion; notes on Lepcha literature.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nebesky-Wojkowitz was born in Austria on 29 June 1923. He was a private lecturer in Ethnology, specialising in Tibetology, and a curator at the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, supervising the Ethnology Department. In 1953, he worked at the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, in Leiden, Holland. He undertook explorations in Kalimpong, Sikkim and Nepal. In particular he carried out important ethnological research on Tibetan sacred dances, Tibetan iconography and ritual. During his lifetime he published two well-known books, Oracles and Demons of Tibet: the cult and iconography of the Tibetan protective deities, and Where the Gods are Mountains: three years among the people of the Himalayas (1956). He died suddenly on 9 July 1959, aged 36.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Papers forwarded to SOAS archives in October 2006.

Other Finding Aids

Handlist available

Related Material

Working papers of Nebesky-Wojkowitz can also be found amongst the papers of Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf (PP MS 19). After his death, Professor Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf was asked to prepare Nebesky's unpublished manuscript for publication, and the book was published as 'Tibetan Religious Dances'.

Geographical Names