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Eskimo kissing facts for kids

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Eskimo kiss

An Eskimo kiss, also called kunik, nose kiss, or nose rub, is the act of pressing the tip of one's nose against another's nose usually interpreted as a friendly greeting gesture in various cultures.


When early explorers of the Arctic first witnessed Inuit nose rubbing as a greeting behavior, they dubbed it Eskimo kissing. The Eskimo kiss was used as a greeting by the Inuit who, when they meet outside, often have little except their nose and eyes exposed. Many Inuit prefer for this gesture to be referred to as kunik, as they consider Eskimo a slur against themselves and their culture.

Representation in different cultures


Genuine kunik

The Eskimo kiss is employed by the Inuit as a traditional greeting called a kunik.

Other cultures

Other peoples use similar greeting practices, notably the Māori of New Zealand and Hawaiians, who practice the hongi and honi greetings, respectively. Mongolian nomads of the Gobi Desert have a similar practice, as do certain Southeast Asian cultures, such as Bengalis, Cambodians, Laotians, Thai, Vietnamese, Timor, Sabu, Sumba and Ibans. Nose kissing is also employed as a traditional greeting by Arab tribesmen when greeting members of the same tribe.

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