By Emma Taggart on December 5, 2021
An “Eskimo kiss” is actually called a “kunik” and it’s not two people rubbing their noses against each other like many people think.
The term “eskimo kiss” might conjure up a cute image of two people rubbing noses; however, the traditional greeting is often misunderstood by Western culture. In a bid to teach more people about Inuit traditions, self-proclaimed “Proud Indigenous” woman Shina Novalinga shares educational videos on TikTok. In one of her most recent videos, she and her mother demonstrate the true “eskimo kiss,” which is actually called a kunik.
The word “Eskimo” is often used to refer to Inuit and Yupik individuals, as well as other Indigenous Alaskan people. However, it’s important to note that many people consider “Eskimo” a derogatory term because it was widely used by non-Native colonizers. Novalinga says in her TikTok bio, “I am Inuk,” which is the singular term for Inuit.
In the video showcasing the kunik kiss, Novalinga and her mother Kayuula explain that they don’t rub noses. Instead, they actually press their nose against someone’s cheek.[…]