Reinier Langelaar

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  • MA Reinier Langelaar

Reinier Langelaar joined the institute in March 2015. He studied religious studies at the University of Leiden and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the Humboldt University in Berlin. His research interests include matters of Tibetan relatedness (kinship), social organization, genealogy and origin narratives, ethnicity, and ancestor cults. Langelaar's dissertation project focuses on late medieval “clan genealogies” (gdung-rabs), with special attention to documents pertaining to the Phag-mo-gru ruling house, which was the hegemonic power on large stretches of the central Tibetan Plateau from 1354-ca. 1480. This research also addresses associated topics such as ethnic origin narratives (which are often included in gdung-rabs genealogies), and Tibetan ancestor cults, which represent a fascinating and underresearched application of genealogy in everyday social life, and its associations and frictions with Buddhist traditions. Langelaar's research is undertaken within the framework of the overarching interdisciplinary project “Visions of Community” (VISCOM).


  • Langelaar, R.J., 2018. "Chasing the Colours of the Rainbow. Tibetan Ethnogenealogies in Flux." In: The Medieval History Journal, vol 21(2): 328-64.
  • Langelaar, R.J., 2017. "Descent and Houses in Reb gong (Reb-gong): Group Formation and Rules of Recruitment Among Eastern Tibetan tsho ba." In: Archiv Orientální, supplementa x. Mapping Amdo: Dynamics of Change, ed. by Jarmila Ptáčková and Adrian Zenz. Prague: Oriental Institute: 155-83.
  • Langelaar, R.J., accepted for publication. "Historical Social Organisation on the Eastern Tibetan Plateau: Histories and Territoriality of the tsho-ba Groups of A-mdo (Qinghai etc., China)." In: Inner Asia.
  • Langelaar, R.J., forthcoming. "The Singular Volume of the Rlangs (Rlangs-kyi-po-ti-bse-ru). The Ancestral Records of a Central Tibetan Ruling House (c. 1400)." In: Diarmuid Ó Riain, Daniel Mahoney, & Giorgia Vocino. Medieval Biographical Collections. Perspectives from Buddhist, Christian and Islamic Worlds. Leiden: Brill.
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