Eskimo Kiss: Origins and Myths

A Eskimo kiss In Western culture is the act of pressing the tip of a person's nose with that of another person. It is based on a traditional Inuit greeting called kunik.

Some experts say that Eskimos kiss on the lips, as is done in Western culture and that the misunderstanding arose through a myth of Hollywood.

Eskimo kiss

A true theory would be that Eskimos put their noses in close proximity to inhale the breath of a loved one, perhaps to keep their lips frozen together. In this way, they may wish to avoid oral contact.

For Eskimos inhaling a lover's breath is erotic, unlike us who live in temperate climates and prefer to exchange saliva. People in different cultures do not always agree on what is stimulating for sex.

Other theories claim that in the cold and snowy regions of Alaska and Canada, Inuit tribes do not kiss each other by touching their lips but rather by rubbing their noses. Speculation suggests that the affection of rubbing noses and sharing the breath puts participants face to face, but without risking temperatures below freezing because their tongues would freeze.

In New Zealand, the Maori tribe practices a similar ritual, found in the Pacific. The fact that this type of manifestation is common in such distant cultures is something that only anthropologists and historians could explain.

The Eskimo Kiss Myth

In 1992, Robert J. Flaherty, due to his film, North Nanook, Spent a year living among the Inuits of the Arctic Circle where he immersed himself in his lifestyle of hunting, fishing, trade and constant migration (living and documenting a civilization that had not yet been hit by modernization).

One day, while strolling with an Inuit family, Flaherty witnessed a mother stroking her baby in a strange but sweet way. Flaherty decided to document the moment and include it in his film.

It was then that he had to describe this gesture of affection to his audience. "What should I call him? A nose kiss?"He asked himself. Unable to find words for action, Flaherty devised the term"Eskimo Kiss."

After his film was released, the term of the Eskimo Kiss spread through the West due to Hollywood cinema, joining a long list of misconceptions common in the world.

In Inuit culture,"kuniks"(rubbing noses) is used as an expression of affection for others (in a non-romantic way). Kuniks are a means of expression used more in babies than in adults.

It's a bit like snuggling. The adult presses the side of his nose against the cheek of the baby and gently inhales that pleasant aroma of the infant.

Over time, Inuit culture evolved and now Western couples kiss on the lips. The odd thing is that an Eskimo member of the Inuit tribe, greet a kunik as an expression of affection or friendship. The actions of the kuniks are not of a romantic gesture, even if they pretend to be sweet.

History of the kiss

The kiss is a touch or physical touch that is made to someone or something with lips together. Usually, your practice can symbolize affection or friendship or sexual stimulation.

Most of the information on the kiss story was researched by Vaughn Bryant, an anthropologist at Texas A & M University.

The author found the first evidence of kissing in Indian Sanskrit, around about 1500 BC. The researcher mentions the importance of squeezing and rubbing the lips, noting how delicious it could feel.

The Greeks learned to kiss after Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 BC. C. Although the kisses became more generalized under the Romans.

The Romans used the kiss as a greeting between the family, among friends and to show social rank. This was done differently in which part of the body they kissed.

In Christianity, the kiss was mentioned in the New Testament. St. Peter had spoken of the"kiss of charity"and St. Paul's"holy kiss." Also the first sects of the church failed to kiss on Holy Thursday, the day of the year Judas betrayed Jesus with this physical contact.

However, as the story progressed, the kiss became less popular after the outbreak of the Great Plague in 1665.

But kissing is not always an expression of love or affection. In countries like Spain, France and Portugal, often kisses with the greeting and can be done once on the cheek or both. You can even make face contact and make a kissing sound.

In Arab culture men kiss each other, greeting each other with 3 kisses on the cheeks. However, in Western culture, men only wave by the hand, although in countries like France men also kiss on the cheek when they see each other.

Many researchers believe that kissing is an instinct. A breastfeeding baby needs to use pressure from the lips to feed on the mother or the bottle that some might say that tries to mimic the gesture of kissing.

This early event establishes important brain pathways and associations in the newborn making kissing a positive experience. Babies without teeth may have been fed by their mother who chewed food and then passed it to the mouth.

However, not all humans kiss, so experts believe it could be learned behavior.

For Bryant, where Western man has not invaded or seized power, there is no kiss among people.

For example, kissing is not part of the culture of many of the indigenous tribes of South America, as well as the natives of sub-Saharan Africa, including rural Zaire, Nigeria and Kenya. In fact, many Polynesian cultures do not know how to kiss, neither the Mongolians nor the Australian aborigines.

Instead, other cultures kiss without using their lips. The Inuit practice the"Eskimo Kiss"by rubbing noses or gathering noses and inhaling each other's breath. This kiss is also performed by numerous Pacific Islander cultures, including the Maori of New Zealand, where it is a ritual greeting.


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