Children’s Wayfaring Experiences at an Olfaction-Enhanced Three Little Pigs Story Exhibition

Natalia Kucirkova


This study draws on data from a public exhibition that was purposefully designed to engage children’s sense of smell in relation to an adapted version of The Three Little Pigs story at a children’s museum. Twenty-eight children attended the exhibition before official opening and their experiences were documented through researcher-led interviews, children’s drawings and researcher fieldnotes. Narrative hermeneutical analysis revealed that children’s olfactory engagement with the story was associated with the portrayal of good and evil and was fostered through the exhibition’s multisensory display. Children asserted themselves in the identity of wayfarers and engaged with the olfactory elements by criss-crossing personal, shared, literary and olfactory boundaries. The power of olfaction to stimulate idiosyncratic emotional responses came to the fore in children’s appropriation of the story narrative and the shared exhibition space.


olfaction; story; children; hermeneutics

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Copyright (c) 2023 Natalia Kucirkova

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360

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