The Nuna are one of several people called "Gurunsi". The Nuna, estimated at 100,000 people, believe in a creator god named Yi. The Nuna communities are formed around the worship of natural spirits. Nuna are primarily sedentary farmers, growing millet, sorghum, and yams. Maize, rice, peanuts, and beans are grown in addition to these staples. Farmers throughout the region practice slash and burn farming. The Nuna masks represent the spirits of the wilderness. The Nuna make masks in the shape of poles colored red, black, and white, or in the form of animals: buffalo, crocodiles, antelopes, warthogs, hyenas, and serpents. The eyes protrude, surrounded by concentric circles. Decorated with geometric motifs, the masks are repainted every year. The wearer of the mask may be invisible underneath the fiber skirt and must behave as the animal does, imitating its gait. When rituals are properly executed, the community receives fertility and prosperity. The mask's role is important during ceremonies at the end of initiation, at the funeral of notables, and as entertainment on certain market days.
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