Mata ni pacheri literally means “behind the mother goddess”, and is a cloth that constitutes a temple of the goddess. The nomadic Vaghari community of Gujarat were not allowed to enter temples, hence they made their own shrines with paintings of the Mother Goddess on cloth. This prectice is believed to be the origin of Mata ni Pachedi, paintings. Mata ni Pachedi are produced as an offering and displayed in temples to honour the Mother Goddess – Mata, produced by the Vaghari community. Mata ni Pachedi is also known as the “Kalamkari of Gujarat”, The strong lines and bold use of colour, that reflect the power and energy of the goddess are the main characteristics.
The painting usually has a set pattern, with the mother Goddess dominating the central area usually seated or standing on a throne or animal, brandishing a weapon to ward off the purveyors of evil. The Mata is always hand painted but accompanying images, additional figures and animals are either block printed or painted.