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puna (pōˈnä) [key], high plateau region, 12,000 to 16,000 ft (3,658–4,877 m) high, between ridges of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia. Arid, cold, and in general, covered by short coarse grass, the puna has, nevertheless, long supported an Native American population. The icy wind sweeping the mineral-rich plateaus is also called puna.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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