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Shield Tales of the Fianna Manuscript

The Crane Bag of the Fianna

Crane Bag Consulting takes its name from a curious collection of treasures known as the Corr Bolg, or 'crane-bag' of the Fianna. The Fianna were a mythical band of warriors in pre-Christian Ireland, who achieved their greatest power and influence under their famous leader Fionn Mac Cumhaill. The Crane Bag was a type of sacred regalia whose possession bestowed power and influence upon the holder. The claim of Conaire Mór to the kingship of Tara is, for example, vindicated by possession of the Crane Bag. It appears in the 3rd century AD at the famous battle of Cnucha (near Castleknock in Dublin) when Fionn's father Cumhall, then leader of the Fianna, is treacherously killed and the bag is carried away from the battlefield by his murderers. It is later recovered by Cumhall's son Fionn, who is beginning to assert his own rights to the leadership of the Fianna and shortly afterwards he does indeed become its supreme commander.

But the history of the Crane Bag goes back even further than that. We learn in the ancient texts that the bag was made from the skin of a crane by none other than the great god Mannanán Mac Lir himself. This was no ordinary crane, however – it was the magically transformed body of Aoife, a princess of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. She was Manannan's lover and upon her death we are told he made a bag of her skin to hold every precious thing he owned. These were magical items, insignificant to the casual viewer, but charged with enormous power and potential. They could only be seen under special circumstances by someone who knew what to look for, and when.

Crane Bag Consulting has chosen this potent image from Ireland's past to symbolise the powerful potential of hidden things. We believe that our customers each have access to sources of hidden potential and it is only a question of looking for these in the right frame of mind and with the right tools.

For more on the crane-bag itself, see O'Flaherty, Ronan (1996) The Crane Bag of the Fianna. Archaeology Ireland 10, No. 1 27-29.

The Crane Bag logo is inspired by the rock-paintings of the Spanish Levant, which are at least six thousand years old. It depicts two dancing figures and a sun-symbol.

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