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Winkie Country

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Title: Winkie Country  
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Subject: Land of Oz, List of Oz characters, Oz the Great and Powerful, Woggle-Bug, Tin Woodman
Collection: Oz Countries
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Winkie Country

Winkie Country
Map of Oz, with Winkie Country in the east
The Oz series location
Creator L. Frank Baum
Genre Children's books
Type Fairy country
Notable locations Oogaboo, Yip Country, Herku, City of Thi, Tin Woodman's castle, Truth Pond
Notable characters Wicked Witch of the West, Tin Woodman, Winkies, Jack Pumpkinhead

The Winkie Country is the western region of the fictional Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum's classic Oz books, first introduced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). It is distinguished by the color yellow. This color is worn by most of the local inhabitants called the Winkies and predominates in the surroundings. The Winkies are relatively normal in appearance with the exception of their yellow-tinted skin. Tin abounds there and it is said that the Winkies are some of the most skillful tinsmiths in the world. This was the country ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West before Dorothy Gale "melted" her with a bucket of water, as narrated in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. After that, the people asked the Tin Woodman to be their new ruler and he gladly accepted. He now lives in a palace made of tin.


  • The Classic Oz Books 1
  • Political Organization 2
  • Winkie Country Landmarks 3
  • In film 4
  • In other works 5
  • References 6

The Classic Oz Books

The publishing company Reilly & Britton (later Reilly & Lee) published, in the form of end-papers to the first edition of Tik-Tok of Oz (1914), the only authenticated map (reproduced here) that shows the Land of Oz in its entirety. For some undiscovered reason this map flip-flops the directions of east and west. The West and East subsection of the WorldHeritage article on the Land of Oz discusses this error and the resulting contradictions. The revised version of the map published by the International Wizard of Oz Club corrects the directions and reverses the map. The map represents the entire area between the Winkie Country and the southern border of Oz as belonging to Quadling Country. The west country of Oz is bordered at the northeast by the Gillikin Country and to the south by the Quadling Country.[1]

To the East lies the Emerald City and to the far east (beyond the Munchkin Country) as well as to the west, north and south (beyond the Quadling Country) of Winkie Country lies the Deadly Desert (which completely surrounds the Land of Oz). The Winkie Country is separated by the Deadly Desert from the underground Dominions of the Nome King. The Kingdom of Oogaboo, where items of value grow on trees, is separated from the Winkie Country by a mountain range. (Tik-Tok of Oz)

The Black Forest is in the southern part of the Winkie Country. Gloma, the good witch, rules there.(The Wishing Horse of Oz)

In some of the Oz books by Ruth Plumly Thompson, the geography is inverted, with the Winkie Country in the Eastern part of Oz and the Munchkin Country in the West.

Political Organization

The Winkie Country's many cities and kingdoms each have their own ruler, who in turn are subjects of the Tin Woodman, Nick Chopper, who himself acknowledges Ozma as supreme ruler of Oz.

Winkie Country Landmarks

Map of the Winkie Country from The Lost Princess of Oz (1917)

Like all the countries of Oz, the Winkie Country contains various unusual inhabitants and places.

  • Wicked Witch of the West's Castle - This was where the Wicked Witch of the West ruled over the Winkies until she was melted by Dorothy.
  • Tin Palace - A palace that is made out of tin. The Tin Woodman moved from the Wicked Witch of the West's castle because it was too damp.
  • Jack Pumpkinhead's House - Jack Pumpkinhead lives in a giant hollowed-out pumpkin near the Tin Woodman's palace in Winkie Country.
  • Scarecrow's Mansion - Jack designed a five story, jewel-encrusted mansion for the Scarecrow, shaped like an ear of corn.
  • Truth Pond - A pond that is located near the Deadly Desert. Anyone can bathe in and be freed of an enchantment, but must always afterward tell the truth.
  • Merry-Go-Mountains - A bunch of mountains that whirl swiftly and are made of rubber.
  • The Tottenhots - A race of small sprite-like people who sleep during the day and play at night live in Winkie Country.
  • Oogaboo - Oogaboo is one of the smallest and poorest kingdoms in the Land of Oz which is located in the far northwestern corner of Winkie Country. It is located in a valley within a mountain range.
  • Thi - A city that is a relatively unexplored part of Oz. It is surrounded by shifting fields that send a traveler in the opposite direction. The inhabitants of the city of Thi are called Thists. They have diamond-shaped heads and heart-shaped bodies. Their stomachs and throats are lined with gold allowing them to eat the thistles that grow around their city. They use mechanical dragons to pull their chariots.
  • Great Orchard - This lies between the Cities of Thi and Herku.
  • Herku - A city ruled by Vig, with a strange master/slave society. It is square with gates of burnished copper in each of the four walls of the city. The residents of Herku use a small dose of Zosozo (a specially-compounded substance that is made of pure energy) that makes the residents skeletally thin and immensely strong enough to keep a breed of giants as their slaves.
  • Bear Center - A forest where the stuffed bears live. They are ruled by the Lavendar Bear and are guided by the mechanical Little Pink Bear.
  • Remote Tableland - A small community that is in the far southwestern corner of Winkie Country. It is home to the Yips, who resemble the Hyups from Mount Munch in having no regular contact with the citizens of Oz below their plateau (as seen in The Lost Princess of Oz).
  • Marsh Land - A swampy location that is one muddy area. It is the home of the Sticks-in-the-Muds, a tribe of mud-covered people on stilts. Travelers are often told to evade Marsh Land.
  • Patch - Inhabited by the Quilties, whose main occupation is the manufacture of patchwork quilts (The Gnome King of Oz).[2]
  • Perhaps City - A city that is on Maybe Mountain. It was seen in Grampa in Oz.
  • Wackajammy - The breadbasket of the West. It was seen in Yankee in Oz.

In film

The most famous depiction of the Winkies is in the 1939 musical film where they appear as the regimental army of the Wicked Witch of the West, marching in formation and chanting repeatedly. In the film, the Winkies bear little or no resemblance to their literary counterparts, dressing in blue uniforms and having green skin and pointed noses, and they are never referred to as Winkies in the film. The Winkie Country is only shown at night in the film, with the main colors being blue, black and gray. The scenery is very bleak and barren, with many mountains and rock formations.

In other works

In Gregory Maguire's revisionist Oz novels Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch, this area is called the Vinkus, and it is revealed that "Winkie" is considered a derogatory term. The Vinkus is inhabited by several semi-nomadic tribes, including the Scrow, the Yunamata, and the Arjiki.

Metallica sampled the chants of the Winkie guards outside the Wicked Witch's castle from the film The Wizard of Oz on the intro to the track "The Frayed Ends of Sanity" on their 1988 album ...And Justice for All. The chants were also heard in the Experience Unlimited song "Da Butt".

In the 1995 television special The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True which is based on the 1939 film, the Winkies appear without being dressed similar to guards and holding pikes, but perform their chant until Dorothy melts the Wicked Witch (Debra Winger).

In West End's version of The Wizard of Oz musical, the marching music introduction and chant are both heard in the musical's first song, "Nobody Understands Me". It is performed by the Kansas farm workers Zeke, Hickory, and Hunk.


  1. ^ See Note 1, above.
  2. ^ The Clothing Kingdoms
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