The Banuk are a human tribe in Horizon Zero Dawn. The Banuk are a nomadic tribe, native to the mountains north of the Sacred Lands. The Banuk have lived up in the mountains for a long time, trying to live in harmony with the machines that roam the world. Made up of fearless hunters and mysterious shamans, they are constantly trying to prove their worth against increasingly stacked odds, and favor this over engaging with other tribes.
At one point, a Carja scribe by the name of Aram set out to study the Banuk in their homeland of Ban-Ur. While he found the landscape to be quite beautiful in it's own way, he despised the cold climate and was puzzled by the odd customs of the natives. He found their relentless pursuit of challenges most odd, as did the Banuk once they learned of the Carja's own customs.
The Banuk are a nomadic tribe, but rarely live further south than the mountain ranges (i.e., to the north of the Nora's Sacred Land). Their simple shelters are similar to tipis, made of long wooden poles and covered with painted canvas. Banuk settlements are rather small and include little else than tents and fire pits.
Tribe members wear dyed garments and fur hoods. Most people are hunters or shamans.
The Banuk are notable for their use of colorful dyes for decoration. They use these pigments for dying their clothing and objects, and for painting. Their geometric designs can be observed on the canvas used for shelter, and on mountainsides. The designs appear to have spiritual purpose, for either protection or another meaning.
Banuk society is lead by shamans who often participate in "medicine hunts" and claim to be able to sense the presence of nearby machines. These shamans occasionally have machine parts sown directly into their skin. While they live in groups called "weraks", they are a highly individualistic and independent people. Even thought they know of the glyphs left by the Old Ones, the tribe prefers to record their history in song. The Banuk also believe that once a machine has been killed by a hunter, it must be properly thanked before being stripped of useful parts.
Due to their isolationism, the Banuk are often deemed to be just as mysterious, primitive, and savage as the Nora tribe. While Banuk traders do occasionally visit Meridian, they seldom stay long enough to satisfy the curiosity of the Carja. They do not appear to readily welcome travelers who visit their lands, even those who come to learn from them, as in the case of Aram. The Banuk expect visitors to construct their own shelters and hunt and cook for themselves.