*The American Fairyland*
Somewhere over the Rainbow, there's a place that's made of Dreams, somewhere over the Rainbow, the Land of Oz calls out for thee, somewhere over the Rainbow, the Emerald City shines and gleams, somewhere over the Rainbow, Dorothy sings a lullaby to me, somewhere over the Rainbow, Magic Slippers clicked times three, somewhere over the Rainbow, is where I wish to be...
''Over the Rainbow, and many, many miles east of nowhere, lies the Magical Land of Oz. A magnificent empire created in the mind of a man named L. Frank Baum, who wrote a wonderful and marvelous book about it...''
The magical Land of Oz is a far off country behind the moon and beyond the rain. Oz was founded by L. Frank Baum, aka the Royal Historian of Oz and was first introduced over one hundred years ago in circa 1900 when Baum wrote his first Oz book which is considered to be the first American Fairytale titled: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- "Ha ha ha, Ho ho ho and a couple of tra la las, that's how we laugh the day away, in the merry old land of Oz! "
- ―The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The Magical Land of Oz: So Much More Than a Kansas Dream...
- "Oh Billina, we're back in Oz! Now I can show you all of the people and things that nobody would believe in!"
- ―Dorothy Gale in Return to Oz (1985)
- Unlike the classic 1939 MGM musical movie The Wizard of Oz, Baum strictly intended the land of Oz to be a real place, an undiscovered world and not just a delusional fantasy or fever-dream from a bump on the head that Dorothy had as it was left open for the viewer of the movie to decide. According to Baum, Oz truly does exist and is located somewhere on the planet Earth that can never found. Oz is entirely cut off from the rest of the world and surrounded on all four sides by a vast desert, which insulates the citizens of Oz known as "Ozians" safe from discovery and invasion. Furthermore, after the Nomes gathered several other evil races to invade and destroy Oz to no success, Glinda surrounded the land with a magical barrier that makes Oz invisible to the outside world.
Unlike our world, Oz is said to be an uncivilized country that lies upon enchanted grounds. One could even say that Oz is in another dimension held at the very center of the universe, where it is cleverly hidden by magic and rarely ever visited. Oz is invisible to those from other civilized places, where real magic no longer exists. In Oz, many great and marvelous things are possible. And almost anything can naturally happen. Oz is a place where glass cats wear fur of spun crystal, patchwork dolls and stuffed scarecrows can walk, the fragrance from a poppy flower is very poisonous and H20 is fatal to Wicked Witches.
Infact, Oz is inhabited by hundreds of fantasy creatures and alien species such as the Fighting Trees, Fairies, Mermaids, and neighboring Nomes. And not to forget the other authentic inhabitants including Ryls, Knooks, Gigans, and Rampsies, Hammer-Heads and the race of porcelain people who live in China Country.
- Oz was enchanted with the Magic of Fairy Queen Lurline. It also neighbors other magical lands such as the Kingdom of Ev, and the Nome-Mountain ruled by the infamous Nome King which both neighbor Oz. These two lands are just a few of the magic countries mentioned in Baum's Oz books. Many other lands similar to Oz, Ev and the Nome-Kingdom are all separated from one another by the Deadly Desert. This desert is what divides not only those worlds from each other, but our world as well.
Oz: Climate, Landscape & Scenery
Oz is said to be a very beautiful place, the equal of which has never been discovered even in other enchanted countries. Oz's beauty and appearance is unlike any other land seen to outsiders. It is a place filled with endless blue skies and everlasting Rainbows. There are also many lovely glades, raging rivers, deep lakes and open meadows at every hand in Oz. Fields and deep vales are filled with many different types of attractive flowers, buttercups and tropical plants. Numerous little brooks of clear cold sparkling water run through the grassy banks of greensward and florescent birds and colorful butterflies are seen fluttering in the bushes and flying from tree to tree. And the trees and bushes all bare many delicious and ripe fruits, and nuts and plump juicy berries. (If one were to be stranded or lost in Oz, they would never starve to death or die from dehydration.) There is also places in Oz that are very unpleasant, such as in the dark forest were fierce flesh-eating beast roam free. There also is a haunted forest, where many spooky animals and creepy critters live. There are many thick woods that stretch out for miles, and large rainforests and jungles filled with lions and tigers and bears. Many villages and towns sit on hill tops overlooking the valley. And many mountains hold steep misty waterfalls and dark mysterious caves filled with precious treasures. Many Ozians work in the Oz's gold mines and enclaves that are cluttered with gems and jewels such as rubies and emeralds that were used to decorate Oz's imperial capital aka Emerald City and the home of Glinda the Good. There are also many farmers across the lands, especially in the Munchkin Country. The farmers live on prosperous farms that are filled with many richly grown crops of every healthy vegetable all in abundance. Oz even has a college if Ozians wants a proper education. The school is run by "Professor Wogglebug", he runs the College of Art and Athletic Perfection in the southwestern part of Munchkin Country.
- There are also many little towns and neighborhoods within Oz that are not mentioned in Oz movies but do indeed appear in Baum's Oz books, such as Dixie Land, the city of Utensia, the home of the Cuttenclips and other little locations.
Crossing Deadly Deserts
The Deadly Desert that surrounds Oz has never been actually crossed, at least not on foot. Anyone who has attempted to do so on their own, has never been seen nor heard from ever again to tell about it. Those who did cross it were carried over it, such as the humbug Wizard who came to Oz via hot-air balloon and Dorothy Gale who came via cyclone and eventually left Oz by flying over it thanks to the magic of the Silver Shoes, (Ruby Slippers in the 1939 movie) which carried her and her pet dog Toto all the way back to Kansas again. The magic shoes however, fell off of her feet and dropped into the desert below...ultimately lost forever.
- "I am anxious to get back to my aunt and uncle, for I am sure they will worry about me. Can you help me find my way?" Dorothy pleaded. The Munchkins and the Good Witch first looked at one another, and then at Dorothy, and then shook their heads. "At the East, not far from here," said one, "there is a great desert, and none could live to cross it." "It is the same at the South," said another, "for I have been there and seen it. The South is the country of the Quadlings, "I am told," said the third man, "that it is the same at the West. And that country, where the Winkies live, is ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West, who would make you her slave if you passed her way." "The North is my home," said the old lady, "and at its edge is the same great deadly desert that surrounds this Land of Oz. I'm afraid, my dear, you will have to live with us. However, the only one who might know how to help you is the great and Wonderful Wizard..."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
- "If this is the land of Oz, then this is the Deadly Desert. It surrounds Oz, last time I flew over it in the old house. Anything living that touches it, turns to sand."
- ―Dorothy in Return to Oz
The reason why this desert is so deadly, isn't just because of its rough and harsh climate, but also because anything breathing and living, touches this desert even if just accidentally, dies by instantly turning to sand. Glinda the Good Witch once helped her Royal Highness, Princess Ozma by using her magic powers to create a very long rug to walk on to cross the desert safely. This magic rug could roll out forever when Ozma visited the neighboring land of Ev to defeat the infamous Princess Langwidere and the wrathful Nome King and save the Royal family of Ev from the Nome King's imprisonment. The Deadly Desert is also surrounded by many oceans which neighbors our world. In Baum's third Oz book published in 1907 titled Ozma of Oz, Dorothy Gale and Billina the yellow hen got shipwrecked and castaway into the sea. They climb into a nearby floating wooden chicken coop and washed up upon the shores of Ev, which is in the same realm as Oz. This also happened to the character Betsy Bobbin and her animal friend Hank the mule when they were shipwrecked and are cast away to this magical atmosphere in Baum's eighth Oz book titled Tik-Tok of Oz, published in 1913.
Mermaids & Fairies in Oz?
- Surprisingly, much like the fantasy island of Neverland from Peter Pan, Mermaids and Fairies are also connected to Oz.
The beautiful Mermaids live deep in the oceans which surround Oz and its deserts. They also care for all its sea-life and live in a pretty little palace deep beneath the waves. Nymphs serve a similar function under the Fairies in the forests. The nymphs are helped by the ryls, who color the flowers and care for all plants; and the knooks, who are crooked creatures who govern the beasts.
The massive Gigans also served the Fairies until Fairy Queen Lulea (who became annoyed with their large forms) transformed them into the tiny Rampsies (the smallest of all immortals). Whatever function they served is unknown, for they're only mentioned in Baum's short story Nelebel's Fairyland, in which the Gigans reshape the land in their boredom.
- In Disney's 2013 prequel to the 1939 MGM film Oz the Great and Powerful, the Mermaids & Fairies are combined together and called Water Fairies. The sharp toothed, mischievous little creatures who inhabit Oz and live near the wet and moist climates of Oz.
Each country in the land of Oz has a specific mascot color that represents the four vast counties and its imperial capital:
- Blue is the Munchkin Country which is home to the native people of that quadrant called Munchkins. The Munchkins are known to be the best farmers in Oz. The land of the Munchkins is also said to be the most beautiful country in all of Oz. It was once ruled by the Wicked Witch of the East, until the arrival of Dorothy Gale of Kansas who freed them from her bondage and became the new owner of the charmed Silver Shoes (Ruby Slippers in the 1939 musical.) Despite its breathtaking landscape, the land of the Munchkins also has many dangerous areas around; a dark forest which is home to the flesh-eating wild beast called Kalidahs. There is also a field filled with deadly Poppies at the border of Munchkin Country that will put their victim to sleep forever until eventual death.
- Purple is the Gillikin Country which is home to the natives known as the Gillikins. This quadrant is known for having the thickest forests in Oz, where purple grass grows on the ground all throughout the country. The north was once ruled by a beautiful princess who practiced sorcery named Gayelette who lived in a jeweled palace many centuries ago. The land is now ruled by Locasta Tattypoo aka the Good Witch of the North who overthrew the Wicked Witch of the North known as simply Mombi. Unlike the 1939 musical, Locasta Tattypoo is also the original Good Witch Dorothy Gale first encounters when she is called upon by the Munchkins to welcome Dorothy and Toto to Oz in Baum's original story.
- Yellow is the Winkie Country which is home to the natives of this quadrant known as the Winkies who are said to be the best tinsmiths in all of Oz. Once ruled by the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, until Dorothy Gale liquefied her. The west is now ruled by the Tin Woodman who become the Tin-Emperor and official Monarch ruler of the Winkie people after the Wicked Witch died. The Winkies loved their new tin ruler so much that they even built him a big castle to live in made entirely of tin.
- Red is the Quadling Country which is home to the natives known as the Quadlings. In the Quadling state there are magical places that can be visited such as the enchanted forest of Fighting Trees, the dainty little enclave known as China Country and the hill of the unpleasant Hammer-Heads. Here the country is Ruled by the beautiful Witch sorceress named Glinda, the Good Witch of the South who vanquished the Wicked Witch of the South. Glinda lives comfortably in a pretty red castle decorated with rubies which stands on a cozy little hill at the edge of the Deadly Desert. Her home is guarded by her Quadling Army that is said to consist of 50 females who are the most prettiest adolescent girls all picked from each of the four quadrant countries of Oz.
- Green stands for the center section of the land of Oz where the Emerald City is located and is inhabited by the citizens who live there. Once ruled by the Humbug Wizard, and after his departure the throne was temporarily given to the Scarecrow until the long lost Princess Ozma was found. Princess Ozma is the long-lost daughter of King Pastoria, and Fairy Queen Lurline. Pastoria was the first mortal King to rule Oz before he was overthrown by the Wizard who proclaimed himself as the new ruler. Pastoria's daughter Ozma was then given to the witch, Mombi, when she was an infant. Mombi then disguised the baby as a kitchen slave boy named Tip. Luckily, after many years of searching, Glinda was able to track Mombi down and forced her to transform Ozma back into her true form which was the child Queen and the rightful ruler of Oz. With everything set right again as it should be, Ozma now lives happily in the Royal Palace of Oz which is in the exact center of the Emerald City. The people of Oz love their little ruler, as she rules over her people wisely, fairly and kindly.
Also note, that the Emerald City is the official imperial capital of all the land. Like a metaphor example resembling what Washington D.C. is to America. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, being the first American Fairy tale written.
- In the non-canonical "Magic Mirror of Oz" by March Laumer, an experiment by a wizard turns the southwest portion of Oz orange. The country is eventually given the name of "Unnikeg" and is referenced in several of Laumer's other works.
- In Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Cowardly Lion of Oz, there is a country called Mudge in the south of Munchkin Country. It is rugged and mostly desert.
- There is also a handsome Yellow Brick Road in the land of Oz. This road starts in the heart of the Munchkin Country and leads all the way to the Emerald City. This can be seen in the official Map of Oz.
Oz is roughly rectangular in shape and divided along the diagonals into four countries: Munchkin Country in the East, Quadling Country in the South, Winkie Country in the West, and Gillikin Country in the North. These surround its capital, the Emerald City, in the center. The land is surrounded on all four sides by the Deadly Desert, which helps to protect it from discovery and invasion. Oz is the largest fairy land.
Magic Items in Oz
- ""But," said Dorothy, after a moment's thought, "Aunt Em has told me that the witches were all dead--years and years ago." "Who is Aunt Em?" Asked the little old woman. "She is my aunt who lives in Kansas, where I came from." Dorothy replied. The Good Witch of the North seemed to think for a time, with her head bowed and her eyes upon the ground. Then she looked up and said, "I do not know where Kansas is, for I have never heard that country mentioned before. But tell me, is it a civilized country?" "Oh, yes," replied Dorothy. "Then that accounts for it. In the civilized countries I believe there are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But, you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from all the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
In the book, the enchanted footwear worn by Dorothy Gale were Silver Shoes with pointed toes. (Ruby Slippers in the 1939 movie) These shoes originally belonged to the Wicked Witch of the East and transported Dorothy back to Kansas by knocking the heels together three times in a row. How the Witch created or obtained them was never elaborated upon by Baum, but subsequent books by various authors have given several different sources for their origin, including 1995's fantasy novel Wicked by Gregory Maguire, which says that they were a gift to the Witch Nessarose from her father, and were originally covered with glittering glass beads that changed colors. The Broadway musical based on Maguire's book further shows that they were originally silver but were changed to ruby red by a spell put upon them by the Wicked Witch of the West, enabling the Witch of the East, who prior had been confined to a wheelchair, to walk. A little-known adaptation of the original story made for British TV in the mid-90's starring Denise van Outen explained that they had belonged to a visitor from over the rainbow who came to Oz before Dorothy, and they were obtained by the Witch when the visitor wished herself home and they fell off her feet on the return trip.
Powder of Life
The Magic Powder of Life is a magic substance from the book series, which first appears in The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. It is a magical powder that brings inanimate objects to life. The witch Mombi first obtained it from a "crooked magician." Later in the series it is revealed that the substance is made by a Dr. Pipt. In order to make the substance, Dr. Pipt had to stir four large cauldrons for six years. Only a few grains of the powder could be made at a time. It is always described as being carried in a pepper box.
Mombi's shaker also contained three "wishing pills" fabricated by Dr. Nikidik.
The Powder has been used by Volkov in his series. There, it is produced from a certain plant of such viability that the smallest piece can grow into a plant within a day, on any surface except for solid metal. However, if it is sun dried on such a surface, it turns into the Powder of Life. No incantation is required to make the powder work. The second book of the series is centered around a man who animates an army of wooden soldiers with the Powder and uses them for conquering the Magic Land.
In Return to Oz, the magic words to bring the inanimate object to life were "WEAUGH, TEAUGH, PEAUGH".
The Magic Belt is first introduced in Ozma of Oz published in 1907. The belt is a magical tool with seemingly limitless powers. It is generally used as a universal problem solver, and functions as a deus ex machina solution in several of the books. Originally the belt belonged to the Nome King but was stolen away from him by Dorothy Gale and given to Princess Ozma. Ozma uses the belt several times to magically transport people, and most notably to make all of Oz invisible to outsiders. It gives the wearer protection from harm.
In the Oz books, this object is always identified as the Magic Belt—in capitals—to distinguish it from any generic magical belts that may exist in the fantasy universe.
In The Lost Princess of Oz, Dorothy states that the Magic Belt only grants one wish a day: she used yesterday's wish on a box of caramels, but saved today's for an emergency. Baum's decision to ration the Magic Belt to one wish a day may be a retcon attempt to limit the Belt's otherwise infinite ability to get his characters out of predicaments; at any rate, this one-per-day wish limit is never mentioned again in any other Oz book.
In non-canonical The Oz Kids animated series, the Magic Belt belonged to Dot. It previously belonged to the Nome King before Princess Ozma took it.
In Ozma's boudoir hangs a picture in a radium frame. This Magic Picture usually appears to be of a pleasant countryside, but when anyone wishes for the picture to show a particular person or place, the scene will display what is wished for. Sometimes the onlooker is able to hear sounds from the scene within the Magic Picture and sometimes an additional device is necessary to transmit sound.
A similar device is present in Volkov's series. There, it is given as a present to the Scarecrow by the Good Witch of the South. It is a box of pink wood with a thick frosted glass screen. The device is password activated and limited in range to the Magic Land (with the exception of deep underground caverns and certain types of magical interference). The box is shown to be virtually indestructible; it withstood repeated abuse from a villain attempting to use it.
Great Book of Records
Glinda's Great Book of Records is introduced in Chapter 29 of The Emerald City of Oz: " 'It is a record of everything that happens,' replied the Sorceress. 'As soon as an event takes place, anywhere in the world, it is immediately found printed in my Magic Book. So, when I read its pages, I am well informed.' " The Book proves useful in The Scarecrow of Oz and Glinda of Oz; and it recurs in many of the stories of Baum's successors and imitators. It is one of the prime magic devices of Oz; villains steal it when they can (as in The Lost Princess of Oz or in Handy Mandy in Oz). Since it covers the planet and not merely Oz, the Book's entries are compressed and sometimes cryptic, and difficult to decipher (as in Paradox in Oz or Queen Ann in Oz).
Oz History-Fairy Queens & Mortal Kings
In a few versions and takes on the backstory of Oz, Lurline's character is romanticized.
Long before Dorothy Gale came via cyclone, and even long before the Wizard, Oscar Diggs crossed over the Deadly Desert and straight into the realm of Oz, coming from our world and arrived in the land via Hot-Air Balloon, Oz was once ruled by a very old yet kind and gentle King of human blood named Pastoria. Now it is rumored that Pastoria was also once in love with a beautiful enchantress named Lurline, the Fairy Queen who processed great magical powers only for good and is credited for making Oz a fairy country by enchanting it and cutting it off from the rest of the world centuries ago.
Lurline and Pastoria came together as one and had a beautiful baby girl whom Lurline named Ozma. The daughter of the two was half human and half fairy, making her immortal like Lurline even though Pastoria was not. After that Lurline left the land of Oz to continue enchanting other lands and created other realms similar to Oz. She put Pastoria in charge which entitled him to Oz's Throne and left Ozma in his care before parting ways for good and ultimately disappearing forever and into the unknown to carry on with new duties accompanied by her band of fairy children.
The King Pastoria lived a long and wise life, and he became very, very old with wrinkled skin and a long white beard. Now, widowed and left on his own with a baby infant and without the guidance of Lurline, Pastoria was not a very powerful King and was only getting older. He lived in a rather small Kingdom in the middle of the land. His people were happy and content as his subjects, but the land of Oz was still inhabited by two Wicked Witches of the East and West lands and who had many people from Oz enslaved. The Wicked Witch of the West had a Golden Cap and the charm of this cap allowed her to command her Winged Monkeys to make the Winkies her slaves. And the Wicked Witch of the East used the charm of her Silver Shoes to keep the Munchkin people in bondage.
The Witches were very powerful indeed and could do as ever they pleased to anyone or anything that was unlucky to cross their paths. These Witches cast many a spell upon innocent people, turning them into random house or kitchen objects, such as flowerpots or candle sticks. The Wicked Witches tried many, many times to overthrow Pastoria and take over all of Oz as a whole. Unfortunately, Pastoria himself did not know anything about practicing the magic arts, for he depended on his Queen Lurline's magic. So, he could not defend himself or his people, the Witches in Oz could have easily taken over and stole the King's Throne and enslaved his subjects to their own pleasing. The only thing that stopped them from truly doing so, was the other two Good Witches of the North and South who lived with the Gillikins, Tattypoo and Lady Glinda who lived in a ruby castle with the Quadlings of Oz.
The two Good Witches used all the power and sorcery they knew to protect poor Pastoria and his people from harm's way. But they were not strong enough to banish the Wicked Witches out of Oz or put an end to them and they're wickedness all together.
One random day, out of the clear blue sky, suddenly a large aircraft of sorts came descending down from the clouds up above, it slowly came to the ground and landed in the exact center of Oz. The people of Oz, Pastoria's subjects and even the Witches of Oz themselves had never seen such a peculiar invention. Inside the basket that was attached to the giant balloon was a man, he called himself Oscar Diggs, and enthusiastically introduced himself as a great Wizard and Magician. And the people of Oz believed him as they saw him preform magic tricks right before their very eyes. The people of Oz asked if the Wizard would be the ruler of the land and he agreed that he would look after Oz and someday rid the land of its Wicked Witches if they promised to obey his every wish and demand. The people of Oz were a gullible folk and believed him and his promises. Thus, building the famous Emerald City in his honor and constructing the Yellow Brick Road that led to the main entrance.
Shortly after the Wizard overthrew King Pastoria, he simply disappeared from Oz for a long, long time. The only thing he left behind was his baby daughter, the fairy child, Princess Ozma who one day would get old enough to use the magic she had, that ran in her blood, to claim her place as the rightful Heir to her father's Throne. This worried the greedy Wizard as he wanted the Throne all to himself. So, one late night, the Wizard sneaked into the Palace of Pastoria, and snatched the baby Princess up and disappeared into the dark night. He gave the baby Ozma to a Witch nearby named Mombi who lived in the North lands of Oz. Mombi was not as gifted or as powerful as the Wicked Witches in Oz, but she was still very ugly inside and very Wicked, nonetheless. Mombi agreed to the Wizard's offer and favor to keep the baby hidden away from the Palace and to never let anyone know where Ozma was. Mombi, transformed Ozma to disguise her as a boy named Tip to work as her personal servant and kitchen slave for many years.
Other Oz Beliefs/Versions
The history of the Land of Oz is cloudy, since the various Royal Historians have given conflicting accounts of past events. In a sense, like our world here on planet Earth, Oz also is possibly millions of years old. And has so many secrets and unknowable mysteries that a lot is left to the unknown or to the imagination. And like all fairy/fantasy lands, imagination is what keeps Oz alive, beautiful and in existence.
The Fairy Lurline enchanted the Land of Oz so that it became a fairy country and left one of her fairies to oversee it. During the reign of Ozma's grandfather, four wicked witches banded together to depose the king and rule the four quadrants of the land themselves. Mombi captured the king and kept him prisoner but was later conquered by the Good Witch of the North. The Wicked Witch of the South was conquered by Glinda.
When O.Z. Diggs landed his hot-air balloon in the center of the land, he was thought to be a Wizard and the proper ruler of Oz, due to the initials emblazoned on his balloon. He built the Emerald City and reunited the four kingdoms, although he lived in fear of the four witches. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz)
Dorothy Gale was brought to the Land of Oz by a cyclone, killing the Wicked Witch of the East. She also later killed the Wicked Witch of the West and revealed the Wizard as a humbug. The Scarecrow was crowned as the next King of Oz. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
When General Jinjur and her Army of Revolt conquered the Emerald City, Glinda decided not to help the Scarecrow regain the throne. Instead, she began a search for Ozma, the rightful ruler. She discovered some collusion between the Wizard and Mombi, and finally restored Ozma to her throne. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)
Ozma's inexperience in foreign affairs made an enemy of the Nome King and he later unsuccessfully attempted to invade Oz, after which Glinda erected a protective barrier of invisibility around the entire country. (Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz)
Ozians: Baum apparently did not exactly mean that only Munchkins are short (as depicted in the iconic 1939 film), but that this is 50% of the norm for all of the adult humans of Oz. If you read the original book, you'll notice W. W. Denslow's illustrations of the characters (which were approved by Baum), Dorothy Gale, who's no older than twelve, is about the same height as most of the adults in Oz, even the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are seen as being only a few inches taller than Dorothy. And later in the book, the Guardian of the Gates, (the first inhabitant of the Emerald City met by Dorothy and apparently representative of its citizens), is "a little man about the same size as the Munchkins." And later, the Quadlings of the southern quadrant in Oz called Quadling Country are described as "short and fat." In W. W. Denslow's illustrations the only Ozians depicted as remarkably taller than Dorothy are the Soldier with the Green Whiskers and Glinda the Good. Overall, you will notice that everyone on Oz treats Dorothy as an equal adult and not as a child. The short stature of Oz's residents is rarely mentioned in the later sequel books of the Oz series written by Baum.
However, in later Oz books, the Munchkins, and the people of Oz in general, were not described as being unusually short and were depicted as no shorter than the human characters from the United States. The one exception is the Munchkin wrestler that Dorothy's cousin Zeb Hugson fought in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.
Population: Oz is inhabited by more than half a million people, although many of them are not made of flesh and blood. The Royal Historians claim that all of them are happy and prosperous.
No disease is known in the land, and no one dies unless they meet with an accident which prevents them from living.
Government: Oz is an absolute monarchy, its ruler named Oz or Ozma. This rule is incompletely enforced, as many parts of Oz have never heard of the reigning Princess Ozma. The Emperor of the Winkies, the Monarch of the Munchkins, the King of the Quadlings, and the Sovereign of the Gillikins are all vassals of the Ruler of the Emerald City.
Economy: Although money has been used in the past, since the reign of Ozma began it is not a monetary economy; magic is a source of much of its production. There are no rich or poor people, and greed is unknown. Everyone is willing to share what he has in order to make his neighbor happy. (See: Money in Oz)
Everyone works half the time and plays half the time, and the people enjoy the work as much as the play. There are no overseers, and each is proud to do his best for his friends and neighbors.
Since the Land of Oz is cut off from other countries by the Deadly Desert, it produces all of its own food. Most of its produce is the same as the rest of the world, but there are some foods which are known only in the land of Oz, such as lacasa nectar and tamornas. Also, in many parts of Oz other commodities such as books and guns grow on bushes.
Legal System: The people of Oz are generally so well behaved that there is not a single lawyer among them. Eureka the kitten is one of the few defendants who have ever been put on trial. She was judged by a jury of nine (consisting of both people and animals) and was defended by the Tin Woodman.
Flag: The Royal flag is divided into four quarters colored sky-blue, pink, lavender, and white. In the center is an emerald, green star. The colors represent the four countries of Oz, and the star the Emerald City. (See: Flags of Oz)
National Anthem: The national air is "The Oz Spangled Banner" and there are many other popular tunes.
The people of Oz enjoy festivities and music. Performing groups like the Imperial Cornet Band, the Royal Court Band, the Emerald City Cornet Band, and the Tin Band play at many special occasions. (Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Road to Oz)
Each of the countries of Oz has its own characteristic and dominant color. In the Munchkin Country that color is blue, in the Winkie Country, yellow; in the Gillikin Country it is purple, and in the Quadling Country, red. The area surrounding the Emerald City is dominated by green. Yet misunderstandings arise on the extent of this color domination. A careful reading of the works of the Royal Historians reveals the true facts.
An obvious point is that the Yellow Brick Road that winds through the Munchkin Country is yellow, not blue. When Ozma's party returns to Oz from Ev, after their first defeat of the Nome King, they land in the Munchkin region, and see its "green slopes and wooded hills" before them as they cross the Deadly Desert. (Ozma of Oz)
When Tip builds Jack Pumpkinhead in the Gillikin Country, he uses an orange pumpkin for the head, and dresses the stick man in a red shirt and pink vest, which are readily at hand. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)
When the Shaggy Man dresses himself in splendor in the Emerald City, he chooses a rose-colored velvet suit, with cream-colored vest and stockings. The furniture around him is done in cloth-of-gold with scarlet embroidery. (The Road to Oz)
Other examples of color variety in Oz can be given, to show that the color scheme of Oz is far from uniform or absolute, despite the exaggerated claims sometimes made. (There seems to be something about Oz that leads people to hyperbolize and exaggerate on a range of subjects, including death and aging.)
Although Ozma is the absolute ruler of Oz, there exists within Oz many small kingdoms and micronations, usually no bigger than a single city, ruled by their own monarchs, who still answer to Ozma (if aware of her). Baum started this trend himself, but it expanded under Ruth Plumly Thompson. Some of these include:
- Flathead Mountain
- Kingdom of the Skeezers
- Red Top Mountain
- Sun Top Mountain
The Sci-Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man takes place in the Outer Zone, which is a futuristic version of the Land of Oz.