Matrika Art and the Visualization of Birth

Indian Matrika

I do not know the origins of this image, and am currently researching it.  I believe, however, that it is an excellent representation for pregnant women to use in the visualization of birth.  It reminds me very much of this image, written about here back in 2011. Like that image, which appears to be of Tantric origin, this one depicts a squatting woman, her baby descending in straight vertical fashion from her body.  In this second image, the woman as primary and enlarged figure is supported by two attendants while a smaller attendant catches the baby.

I first encountered this image a few months ago on a website developed by several Indian academics and researchers interested in birth.  That website is very interesting.  Devoted to the preservation of traditional Indian childbirth practices, the knowledge of which is still maintained by elderly midwives known as dais, it includes some articles and book references on the subject of indigenous birth practices.  Janet Chawla, an American by birth who has lived and worked in India for over 30 years, has an MA in theology and wrote her MA thesis on birth, midwifery, and ritual. Chawla has also brought birth to the arts, producing a film on the subject.  She and I have been corresponding, and she also does not know the origins of this image.