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Myth, Mothers in

  • By: Marcella Bush Trevino
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

A wide variety of mother figures and archetypes can be found in world mythology. One of the main archetypes of mothers in mythology is the earth or mother goddesses found since prehistoric times. These goddesses represented both human and natural fertility. Early women sought the influence and protection of mythological mother goddesses. Mother figures in mythology also represent the ideals of both good and bad mothers and offer guidance to their followers. Mothers in mythology have been a rich source of study and influence in the fields of feminist theory and psychoanalysis.

The most ancient form of mother in mythology is the figure of the Earth Mother or Mother Goddess, which was worshipped by prehistoric Mediterranean area cultures as well as many Native American cultures. These ...

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