Edward Pasqual Dozier

Image from Dozier’s obituary in American Anthropologist, June 1972

Native American (Tewa Pueblo), Ethnography, Anthropology, Linguistics

Edward Pasqual Dozier (Eduardo de Pascua Dozier), PhD


Edward P. Dozier is recognized as the first Native American anthropologist to establish a career as an academic anthropologist. As a linguist and anthropologist, he studied Pueblo communities in Arizona and the Kalinga communities in Northern Luzon, Philippines. He also is credited with founding the American Indian Studies program at University of Arizona. 

Eduardo de Pascua Dozier was born in 1916 to Maria Leocardia Gutiérrez Dozier, a Santa Clara Tewa Pueblo woman and Thomas Sublette Dozier, an Anglo Missouri-trained lawyer-turned-Indian day school teacher. Because Dozier’s mother was Catholic and the Spanish controlled the Catholic Church in New Mexico, he, the youngest of eleven children, and his siblings, were given Spanish names. Their Tewa names were not shared publicly. He and his siblings grew up multilingual, as members of the Winter moiety of the Santa Clara pueblo, speaking Tewa with their mother and their maternal family, a bit of English with their father, and Spanish at school. 

Dozier’s father died when Dozier was nine years old. In response to his grief, he sought to explore some of his father’s interests including anthropological study of the Pueblos. After serving in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific theatre during World War II, he anglicized his name to Edward Pasqual Dozier. He earned a BA (1947) and MA (1949) in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. His MA thesis, which was later published, was the first detailed study of the verb structure of the Tewa language (1953). After a Social Science Research Council Fellowship and a Whitney Fellowship, while working on his doctorate, he taught at University of Oregon (1951-1952). He was awarded a PhD in Anthropology (1952) from the University of California at Los Angeles. 

Dozier taught anthropology at Northwestern University (1953-1958) and was the first American Indian to receive tenure at an American University in Anthropology. He received numerous fellowships, including from the Wenner-Gren Foundation (1952-1953), Stanford University as a research fellow (1958-1959), and the National Science Foundation as a senior postdoctoral fellow (1959-1960). These achievements and recognition propelled his career to his final institutional home at University of Arizona in Tucson where he remained until the end of his career (1960-1971). At University of Arizona, he was instrumental in the founding of the American Indian Studies program. He also served as first vice president of the Association on Indian Affairs and frequently testified at Congressional hearings advocating for ways to improve the lives of Indian peoples without forcing them to assimilate.

Dr. Dozier had to find a pathway to balance his indigenous worldview as a Tewa Pueblo man with the clashing worldviews of Western academic anthropological scholarship. In his Pueblo research, he has been credited with honoring the privacy and the respect for ceremonies not typically shared with outsiders, while earning regard as an anthropologist. Among Dozier’s publications of interest to folklore studies are:

“The Role of the Hopi-Tewa Migration Legend in Reinforcing Cultural Patterns and Prescribing Social Behavior,” Journal of American Folklore 69:176-180 (1956)

Phyllis M. May-Machunda