Tales of these fairies, with a penchant for thievery are usually found in Asturian mythology. Always female, they are known for there incredible beauty and they always live near water. Usually described as small or slender with long blonde or light brown hair (most often curly).
Many stories tell how a Xana has a child and because she cannot produce milk for the baby she switches the baby for that of another woman. The Xana will make this swap by entering a human home through a keyhole and the affected children are called Changelings. The human mother realizes this change when the baby grows up in just a few months. In order to unmask the changeling, one must put some pots and egg shells near the fire, and, if the baby is a changeling, he will exclaim, “I was born one hundred years ago, and since then I have not seen so many egg shells near the fire!”
A Xana can also be a beneficial spirit, offering rewards of gold or silver to those found worthy through some undefined judgment. Their hypnotic voices can be heard during spring and summer nights. Those who have a pure soul and hear the song will be filled with a sense of peace and love. Those whose souls are not pure will feel they are being suffocated and may be driven insane. If angered they will enchant a person; usually by transforming them into an animal.
The Gorge of Xanas is a popular tourist spot in Asturias, where these creatures are said to live.