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The Winkie Country is a fictional place created by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. It was first introduced in his book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. The Winkie Country is the offical western quadrant of the magical Land of Oz. It is distinguished by the color yellow which is the Winkie mascot color and it also represents it's side of Oz's Flag because the color yellow is mostly worn by the native people of the west lands called the Winkies. It is also the color of much of their surroundings, plants, trees, grass etc.
The Winkie Country neighbors the Nome Mountain which is separated by the vast Deadly Desert. The infamous Nome King lives hundreds of miles below the ground with all of his Nome subjects. The mountain of the Nome King is also filled with many precious jewels and metals of the earth such as giant emeralds, rubies, gold, silver and the most solid tin on the planet. In Baums' Oz books it is said that the Winkies are some of the most skillful tinsmiths in the world.
In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, they are the ones who repair a dented and damaged Tin Woodman who was bashed against jagged rocks by Oz's bizzare creatures known as the Winged Monkeys. When the Wicked Witch of the West commanded them to bring her Dorothy Gale and destroy her friends, the monkeys did as they we're told because they we're all slaves to the Golden Cap the Wicked Witch temporarily owned.
The Winkies of Oz are very hardworking people. And are accomplished and talented tin smiths. They also enjoy music, and the Tin Band of the Emperor of the Winkies performs at special occasions such as Princess Ozma's annual birthday parade.
The Golden Cap mysteriously fell into the hands of the Wicked Witch of the West, who used it's charm to take over the West part of Oz with the help of the Winged Monkeys who were slaves to the cap. She ruled over the Winkies and enslaved a good majority of them all to be her personal slaves for many, many years. And so they worked very hard, slaving away for the Wicked Witch who they were very much afraid of.
This went on until the Wizard of Oz sent a little girl named Dorothy Gale, her pet dog Toto, and their three companions the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion out to the west land to kill the Wicked Witch in exchange for Dorothy to be sent home again after being accidentally swept away to the realm of Oz by a monstrous Kansas cyclone.
After being captured and imprisoned by the Wicked Witch, she tried to steal one of Dorothy's magical Silver Shoes to gain the pairs mysterious powers, believing she could use the magic of the shoes to take over all of Oz. However, the plan backfired and Dorothy finally defeated her in defense and melted the Wicked Witch away with a bucket of water, which she was allergic to. And thus, killing her and freeing the Winkies forever. Since then, the Tin Woodman has ruled the Winkies as their new beloved Emperor and he lives happily in a solid Tin Palace that was built by the Winkies in his honor.
Like all the countries of Oz, the Winkie Country contains various unusual sights and places. Among them are:
- The Wicked Witch of the West's castle.
- The Scarecrow's Mansion, which is shaped like an ear of corn
- Jack Pumpkinhead's House, a giant hollowed-out pumpkin
- The palace of the Tin Woodman, created because the Wicked Witch's castle was too damp
- The Truth Pond, which anyone can bathe in and be freed of an enchantment, but must always afterward tell the truth
- The Tottenhots, small sprite-like people who sleep during the day and play at night
- Oogaboo, a monarchy where items of value grow on trees; it is separated from the Winkie Country by a mountain range
- Thi, where bipeds with heart-shaped chests subsist only on thistles and use mechanical dragons to pull their chariots
- Herku, where the natives are extremely thin and muscular, strong enough to keep giants as slaves
- Bear Center, in a forest where stuffed bears are ruled by the Lavender Bear and guided by the wind-up Little Pink Bear
- The tableland of the Yips, home of the Frogman and Cayke
- The Marsh Land
- Perhaps City on Maybe Mountain
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. Fiyero, a major character in Wicked, is a Prince of the Arjikis, and the Wicked Witch's castle (here named Kiamo Ko) is actually Fiyero's ancestral home.