by Aldis Pūtelis
In certain ethnographic regions (Western Latvia), Māra has the same functions as Laima, the deity of fate, in most of Latvia. In a derived form of her name (Marsava), she is a protective deity of cattle. Stribingius mentions a "cow deity" by the name Moschel which appears to be just a corrupted form of Marsava.
In Dievturība she is made the highest female deity — a ruler of the material world, the feminine counterpart of Dievs as the highest concept; one of the heavenly trinity (Dievs, Māra, Laima), with all the māte, "mothers," being just her synonyms.
Still, it is believed (as expressed by several scholars) that this deity is to a great extent a result of Christian syncretism, as proven by older dictionaries giving Māra as a translation for Maria.