Dúirt Rick Russom:
> One Germanic valkyrie (Sigrun) has a crow-coat in which she flies. Has
> anyone ever tried to link these types of shamanic skin-changers to the
> Celtic ones?
The "crow-coat" reminds me of two other "feather-coats" in Irish lore:
1. In the opening sequences of "Togail Bruidne Da Derga", young Conaire
encounters some "great white-speckled birds, unusual in size and color".
He pursues and overtakes them, attacking them with his sling.
Suddenly, "Fo-fácbad na heóin a n-énchendcha 7 imda-suat fair co ngaíb
7 claidbib." (The birds left their bird-headdresses / -mantles / -hoods
and turned on him with spears and swords.)
One of the birdmen protects him, however, explaining to him that he must
never attack birds since he is related to all birds through his father,
who (in an earlier episode) had shed his own "énchendach" in order to
impregnate Mes Buachalla.
2. Poets of high degree were entitled to wear a "tuigen" (mod. tuíneach),
a cloak or robe, described in Sanas Cormaic as being made of white and
multicolord bird skins (with feathers on, presumably) from the waist down,
and from drake throats [the metalic green feathers of male mallards, for
example] and their crests from the waist up. The Rees Brothers, back in
1961, compared the tuigen to the bird-feather cloaks of Siberian shamans.
I'm also reminded of the Hebridean Selkie, whose human husband kept her
"sealskin coat" hidden in a bundle in the rafters, so she couldn't put it
on and become a seal again.