Came across this interesting finding by Prof. Marija Gimbutas on the meaning and origin of “Hulda” as in the tale “Mother Hulda”.
Marija Gimbutas names Hulda (or Holda, Holla, Holle) as having originally been an ancient Germanic supreme goddess who predates most of the German pantheon, including deities such as Odin, Thor, Freya and Loki, continuing traditions of pre-Indo-European Neolithic Europe. (Gimbutas, Marija, The Living Goddesses (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.)
What I find striking about specifically the tale “Mother Hulda” is that no princess and princesses play any role in it. Also there are no male protagonists, apart from that. The entire narrative is one happening amongst women and other entities and phenomena (the tree, the oven, the house, the snow, the well, the gold, the garden).
Anyway I checked out more info about Prof. Gimbutas and was amazed at her body of work and her approach of what she calls “archeomythology”.
The titles that interest me most are:
The Language of the Goddess
The Living Goddesses
The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe: Myths and Cult Images
The Civilization of the Goddess
Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe
Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe, 7000-3500 B.C.: Myths, Legends and Cult Images
Age of the Great Goddess: Ancient Roots of the Emerging Feminine Consciousness