Mata (great mother) is the Hindu primeval mother goddess. She is the archetypal progenitor of all living things. She becomes the tutelary goddess of every village in northern India, but also is viewed as the plague goddess associated with smallpox, in which case her epithet becomes Maha Mai. Her Tamil counterpart is Amman. A.G.H.


Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 159