- "Where is my Powder of Life? Oh Ah, here it is! " Mombi cried, joyfully. "And now let us see if it is potent. The stingy Magician didn't give me much of it, but I guess there's enough for two or three doses." Tip was much surprised when he overheard this speech. Then he saw old Mombi raise her arm and sprinkle the powder from the box over the pumpkin head of his man Jack. She did this in the same way one would pepper a baked potato, and the powder sifted down from Jack's head and scattered over the red shirt and pink waistcoat and purple trousers Tip had dressed him in, and a portion even fell upon the patched and worn shoes. Then, putting the pepper-box back into the basket, Mombi lifted her left hand, with its little finger pointed upward, and said: "Weaugh! " Then she lifted her right hand, with the thumb pointed upward, and said: "Teaugh! " Then she lifted both hands, with all the fingers and thumbs spread out, and cried: "Peaugh! " Jack Pumpkinhead stepped back a pace, at this, and said in a reproachful voice: "Don't yell like that! Do you think I'm deaf? " Old Mombi danced around him, frantic with delight. "He lives! ", she screamed. "He lives! He lives! "
- ―The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904)
The Powder of Life is a magic substance used in L. Frank Baum's second Oz book titled The Marvelous Land of Oz, published in 1904. The powder is said to be created by the Crooked Magician, and allows anything sprinkled with it to instantly come to life by saying the magic words: "Weaugh, Teaugh Peaugh ".
Description and Incantation:
The Powder of Life is held in a small container that looks like something that would belong in the Kitchen cupboards with other herbs and cooking spices. There have been several batches of the Powder of Life have been made. The first batch of the powder was activated by the following incantation:
- Raise the left hand, little finger pointing upward, and say: "Weaugh! "
- Raise the right hand, thumb pointing upward, and say: "Teaugh! "
- Raise both hands, with all the fingers and thumbs spread out, and say: "Peaugh! "
Another batch, inherited by the Crooked Sorcerer's sister, was activated by a simple wish.
Producing the Powder of Life requires four separate pots to be stirred constantly for six years. When the liquid has all boiled away the fine white powder left behind measures scarcely a handful.
The Powder of Life was created by Dr. Pipt and was first tested on the Glass Cat. Dr. Pipt foolishly gave all the Powder (contained in a pepperbox with a false bottom, which also contained Dr. Nikidik's Celebrated Wishing Pills) to the witch Mombi in exchange for a fake "Powder of Youth". Mombi used the Powder of Life to bring Jack Pumpkinhead to life. Tip stole the Powder from her and later used it to animate the Sawhorse and the Gump. (The Marvelous Land of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz)
It was rumored that the Crooked Sorcerer had fallen down a precipice and was killed, and all his possessions went to a relative named Dyna who lives in the Emerald City. Included was another bottle of the Powder of Life. Dyna inadvertantly used the powder to bring to life a blue bear-skin rug made from a former pet. (The Road to Oz)
It was later reveled that Dr. Pipt (who was the only person who knew how to make it) was still very much alive. He produced another batch of the powder, which was intended to be used on the Patchwork Girl, but which also animated a phonograph.
Since Ozma forced Dr. Pipt to give up magic, it can be assumed that the secret to the Powder of Life is gone. (The Patchwork Girl of Oz)
The Powder of Life was used in Return to Oz and other film adaptations of The Marvelous Land of Oz.
Return to Oz 1985
The Powder of Life is an element used in Walt Disney's Cult Classic film Return to Oz. The Gump is brought to life and used as a get-away when Dorothy Gale sprinkles the powder on him. Thus escaping from the angry Princess Mombi to rescue the King Scarecrow, who has been kidnapped by the evil Nome King who lives in a mountain that neighbors Oz past the Deadly Desert.
The Powder has been used by Volkov in the Magic Land series. There, it is produced from a certain plant of such viability that the smallest piece can grow into a man sized 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.