"At Laguna* all entities, human or super-natural, who are functioning in a ritual manner at a high level are called Mother.... The cacique [peace leader] is addressed as mother by the war captain.... The Turkey-Buzzard Spirit is greeted as mother by the shaman who goes to consult him. When the cacique goes to consult with the k'apina shamans, he greets them saying, 'How are things, mothers of everyone, chiefs of everyone.'"
"Its value signifies something other than the kind of sentimental respect for motherhood that is reflected in American's Mother's Day observances. It is ritually powerful, a condition of being that confers the highest adeptship on whoever bears the title. So central to ritual activities is it in Indian cultures that men are honored by the name mother...."
About the Mother-Goddess power to create life:
“The old ones were empowered by their certain knowledge that the power to make life is the source and model for all ritual magic and that no other power can gainsay it. Nor is that power really biological at base; it is the power of ritual magic, the power of Thought, of Mind, that gives rise to biological organisms as it gives rise to social organizations, material culture, and transformations of all kinds – including hunting, war, healing, spirit communication, rain-making, and all the rest.”
From Paula Gunn-Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions, 1992, pp. 28-29).
*The Laguna are Pueblo Indians living the American Southwest.
Thnx to spanishale for the foto