Land of the Munchkins
- "The little people who live in this land, it's Munchkinland and you are their national Heroine my dear. It's all right, you may all come out and thank her....Come out, come out, wherever you are and meet the young lady, who fell from a star. "
- ―Glinda the Good (1939)
Munchkin Country is a fictonal place invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. It is the first country introduced in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. The Munchkin Country is the official eastern quadrant of the magical Land of Oz, populated mainly by the natives called Munchkins .
The Munchkin Country is also the area in Oz where the story's child protagonist named Dorothy Gale and her little pet dog named Toto find themselves at after being swept away from their home by a Kansas cyclone which transported them to Oz while aloft in a prairie farmhouse. In the many various versions of the story, Munchkin Country is also sometimes also called The Land of Munchkins or simply Munckin-Land for short. The eastern country is also the first land to be linked to Oz's Imperial Capital aka Emerald City by means of the Yellow Brick Road.
- "As Mayor of the Munchkin City, in the County of the Land of Oz, I welcome you most regally! "
Munchkin Mayor (1939)
- The yellow brick road is found in the heart of Munchkin Country that travels past the Munchkin border. The border ends roughly near the field of deadly Poppies. The beautiful scarlet Poppies blossom in between munchkinland and the center of the land where the city is. Thus separating the two regions.
Unlike the iconic 1939 film by MGM in Baum's original book the Munchkin's surroundings are strictly dominated by blue and blue of every shade, blue being the Munchkins mascot color. The Munchkins are stated to only wear clothing of all blue because Munchkin Country is always distinguished by that specific color, being represented as blue on Oz's official flag and map. Like the movie the Munchkin Country is said to be indeed breathtakingly beautiful.
- "The cyclone had set the house down very gently--for a cyclone--in the midst of a country of marvelous beauty. There were lovely patches of greensward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious ripe fruits. Banks of colorful gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and exotic birds with rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered in the trees and bushes. A little way off was a small brook, rushing and sparkling along between green grassy banks, and murmuring in a voice very grateful to a little girl who had lived so long on the dry, gray prairies of Kansas. "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Here in Munchkinland, 90% of the landscape is radiant, healthy, delightful and always filled with bright sunshine. The country is also said to be the most appealing quadrant in all the land.
The people who inhabit the east part of Oz are described by Baum as living in homes and odd looking dwellings with large domed roofs. Many fences are said to surround the homes, and are all freshly painted a dainty blue color.
Baum's maps had east and west switched for unknown reasons, causing some confusion later in the series as to whether Munchkin Country was in the east or west of Oz, but it is clear that Munchkin Country was meant to be in the east in the original book.
Oz History of Munchkin Country:
The Munchkin Country is the country which Dorothy Gale of Kansas and her pet dog named Toto both found themselves in after a Kansas cyclone had swept them away while aloft in the farmhouse. The farmhouse was dropped off in the heart of Munchkin-Land in Oz.
Before the unexpected arrival, the Munchkin County was ruled for many years by the Wicked Witch of the East. The Wicked Witch had successfully enslaved many of the Munchkin people to work for her thanks to the powerful magic of her charmed Silver Shoes. Then one random day, out of the clear blue sky, a falling house came crashing down and accidentally landed right on top of the Wicked Witch, killing her instantly and leaving behind nothing more but her magic shoes. Dorothy became the new owner of the Silver Shoes and a huge celebration was thrown across the Munchkin Country in Dorothy's honor, as the people throughout the land thought her to be a great hero and sorceress for freeing them all from the Wicked Witch's bondage once and for all.
When Dorothy went off to see the Wizard to ask him to send her back home to Kansas again, Dorothy and Toto spent the first night in Oz at the house of a very rich Munchkin farmer named Boq. However, Dorothy's stay with Boq the Munchkin was not in the movie. While following the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City she meets the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion, all natives of Munchkin Country.
Jinjur and her Army of Revolt hail from Munchkin Country, and after her defeat Jinjur settles back in her homeland and marries, appearing in a few subseqent books. (The Marvelous Land of Oz )
Princess Ozma returned to Oz through the Munchkin Country after her adventure in the Land of Ev. It is mentioned that they are greeted by a Munchkin King, who is never mentioned again in Baum's Oz books, but could possibly have been Unc Nunkie . (Ozma of Oz)
The crooked sorcerer Dr. Pipt , who created the Glass Cat and the Patchwork Girl is from Munchkin Country, as is Ojo and his Unc Nunkie, himself a member of Munchkin Royalty. According to some accounts he created the Powder of Life that Mombi acquired. (The Patchwork Girl of Oz; Ojo in Oz)
The Tin Woodman eventually returns to Munchkin Country in search of his lost love Nimmie Amee, reuniting with the tinsmith who created him, meeting a fellow tinman named Captain Fyter, and reaching Mount Munch. (The Tin Woodman of Oz)
A young munchkin named Kiki Aru who lived on Mt. Munch turned to wickedness after learning a secret magic word which can transform anyone the speaker wants, teaming up with the Nome King to try to conquer Oz. (The Magic of Oz)
- College of Art and Athletic Perfection - The Wogglebug's college.
- Deadly Poppy Field - This field interrupts the Yellow Brick Road and will put to sleep whoever walks through it.
- Dicksy Land - A mixed up topsy-turvy place where the Dicks live.
- Fiddlestick Forest - A musical forest.
- Keretaria - A small kingdom in the north near Gillikin Country
- Lake Orizon - A beautiful lake, home to the Sapphire City.
- Moojer Mountain - A peak near the Emerald City.
- Mount Munch - A peak at the eastern edge of Munchkin Country.
- Mudge - A desert kingdom in the south home to the warlike Mudgers.
- Munchkin River - A river which flows in the north, interrupting the Yellow Brick Road.
- Munchkin Village - Where Dorothy's house landed.
- Ozure Isles -Islands in Lake Orizon.
- Sapphire City - The capital of Munchkin Country.
- Seebania - A small kingdom in the south, which once ruled most of Munchkin Country.
- Unicorners - An area inhabited by Unicorns.
- Yellow Brick Road - The iconic road to Emerald City. It has a northern and a southern branch.
In Gregory Maguire's novels, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Son of a Witch (which use "Munchkinland"), the people are not all Munchkins, and so they are actually called Munchkinlanders. Maguire portrays Munchkinland as the breadbasket of Oz. Munchkinland is also shown to be the native home of Elphaba, or the Wicked Witch of the West, and her younger sister Nessarose (although in the novel, they grew up in Quadling Country). In the Broadway musical Wicked, based on the novel, their father is the governor of Munchkinland. In both adaptations, Nessarose eventually comes to power, but her corrupt ruling earns her loathing by the Munchkinlanders and the name "Wicked Witch of the East."