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Mother Goddess (Matrika) Post-Gupta period, mid- 6th century, India. One of a group of 7 mother goddesses sprung from a Hindu male god. Despite their beauty, matrikas represent dangerous and malevolent forces—the devourers of children and bearers of sickness and disease. Though integral to early temple iconography, their power was so threatening they were marginalized, consigned to shrines beyond city boundaries. Their combined power is understood to be embodied in the mother goddess, Durga.