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Edward Dozier

Born: 1916 - Died: 1971

By Richard Flint and Shirley Cushing Flint

Eduardo de Pascua Dozier, the eleventh and final child of Leocadia Gutiérrez and Thomas Sublette Dozier, was born at his mother's home of Santa Clara Pueblo on Easter Day 1916. His father was a lawyer turned school teacher, who hailed from St. Louis, Missouri. In 1893, at age 35, he had been assigned by the United States Indian Service to the day school at Santa Clara, where he taught for five years. During that time he met and married Leocadia, 17 years his junior. Thomas had been adopted by the Agapito Naranjo family of the tribe's winter moiety, one of two segments of Santa Clara's population that alternately control the pueblo's government. Thus, Eduardo and his brothers and sisters grew up as members of the pueblo.

Eduardo spoke Tewa exclusively until he was 12 years old. In pursuit of economic opportunity, the Dozier family moved to Albuquerque when Eduardo was in the eighth grade. Since leaving teaching in 1898, his father had worked at various jobs under contract with the Indian Service and for anthropologists studying Pueblo languages and culture. He also sold Pueblo-made souvenirs. But the family never was very prosperous. Because Eduardo moved away from Santa Clara before being initiated into the pueblo's ceremonial routines, he never was a participant in that important aspect of the community's life. He did, though, maintain contact with family and friends at Santa Clara Pueblo and returned frequently to visit throughout his life.

After moving to Santa Fe, Eduardo attended St. Michael's High School where he was a good student. After graduating from high school in 1935, he worked for the summer as interpreter and secretary to Elizabeth Shepley Sergeant, a journalist and Indian rights activist then consulting with Santa Clara Pueblo about the drafting of a tribal constitution under the new Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The act authorized constitutional tribal self government and was initiated in reaction to earlier repressive measures designed to eradicate Indian tribes and radically assimilate native Americans into mainstream society.

Sergeant also enlisted Eduardo as a researcher in what she called the Pueblo Wild Flower Project, a cooperative effort between non-tribal botanists and tribal healers and herbalists to record Pueblo uses of native plants. Eduardo soon encountered serious difficulties. The first was the absence of a practical written form of Tewa, the language of his home pueblo and its immediate neighbors. The second was a reluctance of people with plant knowledge at Santa Clara to disclose it in any way that would mean its eventual transmission to non-natives.

When summer ended, Eduardo enrolled at the University of New Mexico. Under Sergeant's influence, he decided on a major in biology, with a minor in history. Sergeant enthusiastically supported his decision to further his education and continued to encourage him throughout his career. The two remained close friends for 30 years, until her death in 1965. Working a part-time job at the Albuquerque Indian School, Eduardo did not perform well in his studies. His grades were very poor during his freshman year at UNM, and he continued to struggle for two more years, then left the University of New Mexico to take a full-time job as a clerk in the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.

After just one year, he returned to UNM in the fall of 1940. He changed his major to anthropology, and his grades improved dramatically. Anthropologist W.W. Hill asked Eduardo to serve as his assistant in ethnological research he was conducting at Santa Clara. Eduardo seemed to have found his element, but just as he appeared poised to breeze through the remainder of his undergraduate career, he received a draft notice. With just 15 course hours remaining to earn a bachelor's degree, Eduardo again left UNM, to join the U.S. Army Air Corps.

He served throughout World War II, in various posts and at various locations, including with a bomber squadron in the Pacific theater. In the Air Corps he Anglicized his name to Edward P. Dozier, as it remained for the rest of his life. During a furlough in 1943, he married Betty Butler, whom he had met in Washington, D.C. The couple soon had a daughter Wanda, who spent much of her childhood at Santa Clara.

After the conclusion of the war, the Doziers moved to Albuquerque, where Edward once again picked up his studies in 1946, now under the GI Bill. In 1947, 12 years after matriculating at UNM, Dozier received a B.A. in anthropology. With the degree in hand, he launched immediately into the UNM master's program in anthropology. During the first year of his graduate studies, he and Betty divorced.

While at UNM, Dozier met linguistic anthropologist Harry Hojier, who was serving as a visiting professor from the University of California at Los Angeles. When he returned to Los Angeles, Hojier invited Dozier to go there to work with him for a summer. That invitation resulted in Dozier's decision to pursue doctoral work at UCLA, where he served as Hojier's teaching and research assistant. In 1949, the same year Dozier received his M.A. from UNM, he and Hojier wrote a paper together on Tewa phonemes, the first of Dozier's many publications.

Dozier's dissertation research was conducted at Tewa Village (also known as Hano), Arizona. Tewa refugees from the Pueblo-Spanish War in New Mexico established this community, situated on First Mesa within the Hopi Reservation, in the 1690s. The Hopis took them in, possibly to better resist anticipated Spanish attempts at re-colonization. The people of Tewa Village were, thus, Dozier's very distant relatives. Dozier went into his research with the hypothesis that Hano had retained older features of the Tewa language that had been lost at Santa Clara because of its close association for hundreds of years with Hispanic- and Anglo-Americans. Instead, he discovered divergence from both sides. Although he was fluent in the Tewa spoken at Santa Clara, at normal conversational speed, Dozier could not understand the Hano Tewa speakers.

As he prepared for a second season of research at Hano/Tewa Village, in 1950, Dozier married for a second time, to Marianne Fink, who had a master's degree in psychology from UNM. She aided Dozier in his research and went on all his subsequent field trips, beginning with the second year at Hopi. Dozier's work at Hano resulted in a dissertation that became a classic anthropological book, The Hopi-Tewa of Arizona. When Dozier received his Ph.D. in 1952, he became only the second Native American and the first since 1909, to receive a doctorate in anthropology. His accomplishment was picked up by Newsweek magazine who ran an article on Dozier and his work. With publication of The Hopi-Tewa of Arizona two years later, he was widely recognized as an outstanding scholar. The book focused on how the Tewa had been able to maintain their cultural identity while living among the Hopi people, even after 250 years as a tiny minority.

From 1953-59, Dozier was an instructor in anthropology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. There, Dozier was the only member of the faculty specializing in American anthropology. In 1955, he became the first Native American elected to the board of directors of the Indian advocacy group, the Association on American Indian Affairs, headed by Oliver La Farge. The association strongly opposed termination of federal trust responsibilities toward tribes. In that same year Marianne and Edward had the first of their two children, a son, Migué. They also bought a house in Corrales, north of Albuquerque, which they used as a summer home for many years. A daughter, Anya, was born in 1959.

The following year, the University of Arizona in Tucson hired Dozier away from Northwestern, where he joined the anthropology faculty under its chair Emil Haury. Also in 1960, acting on the suggestion of his friend Fred Eggan at the University of Chicago, where a Philippine Studies program had just been started, Dozier shifted his study to the Kalinga people of the northern Philippines and their village federations. He received a National Science Foundation fellowship to study on northern Luzon and moved his family there for a year. His resulting books on the Kalinga, though, never became authoritative sources, as his Hopi-Tewa books did. They were generally seen as flawed by insufficient travel and his reliance on English to communicate with the people he was studying.

Nevertheless, Dozier continued to be influential in the study of Southwestern Indian cultures. In a chapter of Perspectives in American Indian Cultural Change, which Dozier edited in 1961, he developed the concept of "compartmentalization," to explain the persistence of Tewa cultural traits. The compartmentalization theory suggested that the selective adoption of foreign cultural traits and the retention of traits from one's native culture, both mentally compartmentalized, were a deliberate strategy of cultural preservation. Elsewhere, he argued with his colleagues for more cultural sensitivity in their use of terminology, saying, for example, that the use of such descriptors as "primitive" should be discontinued in anthropological writing.

At the University of Arizona he became a leading figure in the emerging field of ethnic studies. He worked to develop a curriculum for Indian students, about whom he said, "you have to learn how to change." He was chair of American Indian Studies at Arizona. He served a stint as visiting professor at the University of the Philippines in 1969. Then he was offered a position in the Program of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota, which he declined because of ill health. The program at Minnesota was to be similar to the one he had developed at the University of Arizona. Dozier was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but died of a heart attack back in Tucson in May 1971. Edward Dozier was one of the first generation of Native American University professors and scholars, a distinguished member of his professional field. He shed the light of an insider on Tewa culture, sometimes to the annoyance of his fellow Pueblos.

Sources Used:

Edward P. Dozier. Hano, A Tewa Indian Community in Arizona. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966.

Edward P. Dozier.The Pueblo Indians of North America. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970.

Fred Eggan and Keith Basso. "Edward P. Dozier." American Anthropologist 74(3) (1972):740-46.

Marilyn Norcini. Edward P. Dozier: The Paradox of an American Indian Anthropologist. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2007.