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Matara is the collective name for a group of Hindu Mother Goddesses,
and more specifically applied to the consort of Kasyapa.
As divine mothers they also are considered Shaktis.
Their number vary according to various traditions; therefore, being named
saptamataras (seven), astamataras
(eight), and navashaktis (nine). Less commonly
there may be up to fifty mataras in a group. Their images are usually carved
in stone, very few are in metal. They are depicted as seated, often on a
corpse, and may be of terrifying appearance. A.G.H.
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York,
Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 159
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