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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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