This painting is of Vishat Mata. Vishat Mata’s name is derived from the Gujarati words ‘vis-hath’ that means twenty hands. The goddess is shown riding the animal Buffalo. The rows behind illustrate the priests and devotees worshipping her. The story shows the goddess defeating the asura.
Mata Ni Pachedi is a sacred folk art practiced by the nomadic Vagharis community in Gujarat. The community traces their association with this art to three centuries ago. It is also known as the Kalamkari of Gujarat. Mata Ni Pachedi translates to “behind the mother goddess”. These Pachedis are an expression of the divine energy of the mother goddess. When the people of the Vaghari community were barred from entering the temples, they made their own shrines with various depictions of the Mother Goddess on the cloth.
The figure of the Mother Goddess in the centre part of the Pachedi is of the main characteristic features. The figure is surrounded by mythological characters and elements, human figures, flora and fauna, etc. These motifs depict the various narratives of the Mother Goddess. Traditionally, red is of the main colours used in the paintings, it symbolizes the auspiciousness of any occasion, and the black colour wards off the evil spirits and increases the spiritual energy.
The goddess is believed to have a hundred forms and is accordingly depicted in each of these along with the associated symbolic details and attributes.