The act known as Eskimo kissing in modern western culture is loosely based on a traditional Inuit greeting called a kunik.
A kunik is a form of expressing affection, usually between family members and loved ones, that involves pressing the nose and upper lip against the skin (commonly the cheeks or forehead) and breathing in, causing the loved one's skin or hair to be suctioned against the nose and upper lip. A common misconception is that the practice arose so that Inuit could kiss without their mouths freezing together. In fact, it is a non-erotic form of greeting that serves as an intimate way of greeting one another for people who, when they meet, often have little except their nose and eyes exposed.
When early explorers of the Arctic first witnessed this behavior they dubbed it Eskimo kissing. In its western form it consists of two people rubbing noses together. One of the earliest representations of the "Eskimo Kiss" comes from Robert Flaherty's 1922 film Nanook of the North, considered by many to be the first real documentary or ethnographic film. It is possibly from this source that the non-Inuit/Eskimo public became aware of this convention.
Similar traits are shown in greetings of other people, notably the hongi greeting used by the M?ori of New Zealand.
Scenes involving Eskimo kissing are included in countless media, including episodes of The Simpsons, and in a ''Chapelle's Show sketch in which Eskimo kissing is portrayed as a stereotypically white gesture. The Eskimo kiss was also featured as one of the pivotal concepts in the TV series Noozles, wherein it is the action that revives a Koala from what is known as magic sleepytime. Also, in the animated series David the Gnome'', an eskimo kiss was shared between David and his wife in the introduction bit.
This article is based on "Eskimo kissing" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eskimo+kissing&action=history