The name for Tinguian spirits, which are half human and half bird. They have wings and can fly, but their toes are at the back of their feet and their fingers are attached to the wrists and point backward. They are usually friendly but they can at times be mischievous or even hostile. They live in forests and can be found hanging, bat-like, from trees.
In various folktales they appear as the foster mothers of the protagonists and are said to live in houses of gold. A well-known son of an alan is Sayen. Some alan take the placenta after birth and transform it into a real child, who is then more powerful than ordinary mortals.
At ceremonies the alan are often made fun of and cheated in the sacrifices.
- Bray, Frank Chapin. (1935). The World of Myths: A Dictionary of Mythology. New York: Thomas J. Crowell.
- Cole, Fay-Cooper. (1922). "The Tinguian." FMNH-AS, Vol. 14, no. 2, p. 264.
- Leach, Maria, ed. (1984). Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. New York: HarperCollins.