Much More than just A Kiss
Kissing, it appears, actually evolved from the ancient practice of human animals sniffing at one another, because that was how people learned things about one another in times past.
Much More than just A Kiss
That kiss never was just a kiss, historically, and those doing it, when they actually make lip contact, are actually taking part in what truly is one of the most bizarre and unlikely of human activities imaginable, because, according to experts, it has nothing to do with sex..
Kissing, it appears, actually evolved from the ancient practice of human animals sniffing at one another, because that was how people learned things about one another in times past. It is thought that, maybe at some point, humans sniffing each other out slipped and ended up touching lips.
Vaughn Bryant, Texas A&M University anthropologist and an authority on how human kissing evolved, pointed out that during early human history, relationships depended on smell, used to determine mood, health and social status of the person being greeted.
Sniff greetings were commonplace, those involved brushing noses across faces, sniffing at the scent glands, which over time became a brushing of the lips, the way in which this form of social greeting came about.
The Indian sub-continent is where kissing became seen as a romantic form of expression, around 1000BC, when epic poem the Mahabharata included the first descriptions of romantic kissing on record. It is thought that romantic kissing was unknown elsewhere in the world at that time,
For the Greeks, kissing was how men communicated status, rank, and loyalty among themselves, an expression of social hierarchy, in a way. Lip contact is mentioned, as a form of supplication, not romance, in Homer's Odyssey. Where social equals would kiss the mouth, servants, and slaves kissed cheeks, hands, feet, or even the hem of the robe, a practice that continued into the 18th century.
What Romans called the soul kiss is today referred to as the French kiss, though Emperor Tiberius did attempt to ban kissing in case it was a way of spreading leprosy, but his Roman people ignored him. Oddly enough, early Christians were anti-kissing and several popes tried over the years to ban romantic kissing, Pope Clement V decreeing that kissing done with the intent to fornicate was to be considered a mortal sin In 1312.
It was European missionaries who introduced kissing, in the 19th century, to Africa, Asia and Oceania, as well as the word of God to many indigenous populations. The Japanese thought kissing to be offensive and film scenes in which it featured were carefully deleted from movies shown after WWII in occupied Japan.
It is clear from historical data that, in terms of human evolution, the kiss is a relatively new phenomenon, never originally intended to be a conveyor of emotion. Whatever the reasons for it actually coming into being, the kiss never really was just a kiss, but the meanings to it have been so many and varied that it has blurred somewhat over time, but is still nonetheless a great experience when there is passion behind it.