The Winkies are native Ozian residents of the Winkie Country in the magical Land of Oz. They are good people who prefer the color yellow in their surroundings, clothing and landscaping as yellow is the mascot color that represents the western qaudrant of Oz.
- They are also said to be some of the best Tinsmiths in the world.
The Winkies of Oz lived a humble and happy existence as tinsmiths in the west until the Wicked Witch of the West unexpectedly came. The Witch used the power of the magic Golden Cap she owned which allowed her to control the Winged Monkeys of Oz. She used the cap and with the help of the Monkeys she successfully conquered their entire country and enslaved the majority of the Winkies to work for her night and day. When the Wizard came to Oz, he tried to claim the west as his own, but the Wicked Witch had the Monkeys run him out of her territory. After that the Witch ruled the west for a very long time and no one dared to go near her turf. However, she met her fate when a little girl named Dorothy Gale and her pet dog Toto were sent by the Wizard himself to kill her in exchange to be sent back home again after being swept away to Oz via Kansas cyclone. The girl and her dog were also accompanied by a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion. The Witch used the cap one last time to order the Winged Monkeys to seize the girl, her dog, as well as the Lion and to destroy the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman. When Dorothy and the Lion were both imprisoned by the Wicked old Witch, Dorothy melted her away with a bucket of water after she tried to steal one of the girls' Silver Shoes which had many mysterious powers. When Dorothy defeated the Witch, there was great rejoicing, and the day was set aside as an annual holiday. To thank Dorothy, the Winkies glady restored the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman.
Since the Winkies were crafted tinsmiths, they asked the Tin Woodman to be their new official Emperor, and he gladly accepted and has ruled over them successfully ever since, even living in a Tin Castle that was built by the Winkies in his honor. But before leaving to return to the Wizard to get his heart, the Winkies gave the Scarecrow a golden cane to walk with and gave Dorothy a solid gold bracelet studded in diamonds. The Winkies also gave Toto a golden color decorated with diamonds as well. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)
Winkies of 1939
In the MGM film the Winkies had green skin. They did not speak until after the Witch was melted, and then seemed to be coming out of a trance they were put under by the Witch. They also chanted a Yoo-Heeve-Hoo song. After the Witch was melted, they hailed to Dorothy for setting them free from the Witch's evil spell, and gave the broomstick to her to give the Wizard as a token of their appreciation.
In the 1978 African-American version The Wiz, the Winkies are slaves to an underground sweat shop in Oz.