OK, boys and girls, we are setting off on a major hike through the Munchkin Country today. And Ojo and Realbad and Snufferbux are going to be our guides! Luckily Ojo has brought along the Oz maps created by L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson, and Snufferbux has his copies of the relevant texts.
Together we're gonna try to untangle what I see as the one terrible error on the Oz Club's maps, and that is the shifting of Ojo's and Doctor Pipt's homes to the northern
Munchkin Country. Baum's map (and text) has them in the southern
Granted, there is a textual contradiction in Baum's The Patchwork Girl of Oz
(1914). In short, the club maps chose to honor a totally unimportant
of the pen by Baum (a reference to the Gillikin Country) and thus made hash of the story logic (and often explicit detail) of Baum's Patchwork Girl
and Ruth Plumly Thompson's Ojo in Oz
I will be getting into Baum's text in detail. But here's what we're talking about.
|Baum's map on left, Club map on right - Click to enlarge.|
On the left is Baum's map showing Ojo in the South near the Quadling
border; on the right is the Club's map showing Ojo in the north with Dr. Pipt's mountain on the Gillikin border. Exactly who pushed for this change is not known. At least originally, Jim Haff followed the bulk of Baum's story and kept Ojo in the south as you can see in his master research map, below. (Remember that the Club maps show east on the right hand side of the map.)
|Jim Haff's placement of Ojo in the south on his original "research" map. |
In all likelihood it was either Fred Meyer or Dick Martin that "corrected" Jim's careful research and argued for shifting Ojo and Pipt to the north. Fred had a persnickety obsession with certain details and I can imagine him focusing in on that word "Gillikin" and not letting go. Dick Martin seems to me to have approached the maps from an "ease of drawing" perspective much of the time. And the northern section of Haff's Munchkin Country was kind of empty and it's also possible that Dick urged the move to simply fill up that space on the map. This is all conjecture; we simply don't know at this point what happened, only that Jim Haff's careful design was radically altered.
This may seem like a big fuss over nothing. What does it matter that one map shows Ojo in the north and another shows Ojo in the south? Well, it turns out to matter a lot, much more than I even realized from an Oz history perspective. In the Oz Club choice, all you gain is the chance to honor
Baum's unimportant slip of the pen, "Gillikin."
But I think much was
lost by that choice. Whereas, if Ojo and Dr. Pipt are in the south, innumerable details in the stories of both Patchwork Girl
and Ojo in Oz
make sense in story-telling logic and in geographical unity. This should not be surprising when we now know Baum had already mapped the Land of Oz sometime in late 1912 or early 1913, according to Gottschalk
, and we know that Thompson was using the text of Patchwork Girl
(and both Baum's and her own maps
) in the writing of Ojo in Oz,
as you will see further below.
Let me take you on a tour through the southern Munchkin Country! We'll explore both the various texts and the various maps.
The trouble begins when Ojo and Unc Nunkie run out of food and have to leave their humble cottage deep in the dismal Blue Forest. Ojo says, "All I've ever seen of the great Land of Oz, Unc Dear, is the view of that mountain over at the south, where they say the Hammerheads live . . . and that other mountain at the north, where they say nobody lives."
Unc Nunkie reminds Ojo that the Crooked Magician Dr. Pipt and his wife live on that mountain at the north. Ojo continues, "They live high up on the mountain, and the good Munchkin Country, where the fruits and flowers grow, is just on the other side."
So Ojo and Unc Nunkie set out from their cottage in the Blue Forest, heading north
to get to the good part of the Munchkin Country that lies on the other side
of Dr. Pipt's mountain.
Here we come to Baum's slip of the pen where he writes:
At the foot of the mountain that separated the Country of the Munchkins from the Country of the Gillikins, the path divided. One way led to the left and the other to the right — straight up the mountain. Unc Nunkie took this right-hand path and Ojo followed without asking why. He knew it would take them to the house of the Crooked Magician, whom he had never seen but who was their nearest neighbor.
Baum should not
have written that phrase about the Country of the Gillikins. He has already explained that Doctor Pipt's mountain is separating Ojo and Nunkie's home from the more fruitful plains of the Munchkin Country, these fertile fields being Ojo and Nunkie's destination. Based on Baum's previous text detail, the paragraph should have said something like: "At the foot of the mountain that separated the fertile fields of the Munchkins from the Blue Forest, the path divided."
Remember Ojo and Nunkie are explicitly journeying from their home, where they have no food, to the good part
of the Munchkin Country. And remember, too, they are not
journeying to visit Doctor Pipt. The Doctor is just a rest stop on the journey over
the mountain barrier.
Back to the story . . . Unc Nunkie and Ojo take the right-hand path up the mountain. It must be a rough or steep climb, because they made it from home to the bottom of the mountain by early morning, yet they will be trudging up the mountain most of the day. They stop for lunch at noon and then hike for another two hours before arriving at Doctor Pipt's.
After the Liquid of Petrifaction accident, Ojo, Scraps, and Bungle decide to set off to find a cure. They continue on the path over the mountain, the same route Ojo and Nunkie always planned to take, into the fertile fields of the Munchkin Country. Baum writes: "Ojo had never traveled before and so he only knew that the path down the mountainside led into the open Munchkin Country, where large numbers of people dwelt."
After reaching the foot of the mountain they come to a brook
which Scraps jumps across. They journey on, and shortly before sundown they meet a Munchkin Woodchopper who invites them to spend the night. They decline, as Ojo wants to press on with their journey. They walk late into the night, eventually coming to the house with the disembodied voice. The next day, after encountering the live phonograph, they meet the Foolish Owl and Wise Donkey (the latter says he is from Mo). They then free the Woozy and finally arrive at the Yellow Brick Road. This is not Dorothy's Yellow Brick Road but another one.
Now you might be asking, why did you cover all of that stuff in so much detail? What does it have to do with maps? Well, my friends, allow me to show you! The events described above fit quite wonderfully into the pre-Oz Club maps! And with some surprising synchronicity, IMHO!
Below is Baum's 1914 Oz map. I have added indicated the paths (as described in Baum's text) in yellow, showing the the path from Ojo's house to the base of the mountain that separates Ojo and Nunkie from the fertile plains of the Munchkin Country. You can see the fork, where the path divides. Ojo and Nunkie took the right-hand path up the mountain to Doctor Pipt.
|Narrow yellow line shows paths in the Blue Forest and path followed by Ojo to the YBR|
I also added in the "second" Yellow Brick Road as it was not shown on Baum's map. It would obviously not be so straight, but this is more of a diagram to show how well Baum's text can be plugged into his own map of Oz. Note that there is even a "brook" or river for Scraps to jump across after they get down out of the mountain. This brook is on the original map; I only added the yellow path and road.
I firmly believe Baum wrote the Patchwork Girl
text using his Oz map as a guide, though the map would not be published until the next year's Oz book, Tik-Tok of Oz
(1914). We already have evidence that Baum drew the map in late 1912 or so (see this previous blog post
). But in another unidentified 1913 newspaper interview Baum states: "the Land of Oz has grown to be a very real place to me. I have even
mapped it all out, and its characters are known to me quite intimately."
Let's add another layer into all this. Ruth Plumly Thompson had clearly reread Baum's Patchwork Girl of Oz
in preparation for writing her "sequel" Ojo in Oz
. Below is Thompson's map of Oz. It is a tracing of Baum's 1914 map in which she has worked in the locations from her own Oz titles. I have added in essentially identical versions of the paths and Yellow Brick Road.
|Thompson's map showing Ojo and Dr. Pipt and her own Bandit's Forest and Seebania from OJO IN OZ.|
I think this map shows Thompson wrote Ojo in Oz
using the 1914 Baum map as reference. And she has placed Seebania (the kingdom Unc Nunkie and the infant Ojo fled) just to the left of the Blue Forest where Ojo and Nunkie lived. And look where a path to the left would lead on Thompson's map - toward
Seebania! No wonder Unc Nunkie avoided it.
Now what I also love about Thompson's geography here is that it justifies why
(from an Oz history perspective) there is a second Yellow Brick Road and what two places it connects. The Baum and Thompson geography in Patchwork Girl
strongly allows for this Yellow Brick Road to connect the Emerald City with the old capital of the Munchkin Country, Seebania! This may well be constructive conjecture on my part, but there can be no dismissing the fact that Thompson meant Ojo's home and Seebania to be in the same general vicinity.
Below is a similarly modified version of Walt Spouse's beautifully detailed "Wonderland of Oz Map" showing the paths and Yellow Brick Road. I have added in Seebania (where Thompson has positioned it) and labeled the "brook" that Scraps jumps over.
|Modified version of Walt Spouse's 1932 "Wonderland of Oz" map.|
There are many subtle details from both books that can take on added significance once one begins to see the entire geographical picture. Of course Unc Nunkie avoided the "left-hand" path on the way to the fertile Munchkin fields; he knew it went to Seebania. When the Wise Donkey informs Ojo and the gang that he is from Mo, it's not surprising when one realizes Mo is just across the desert from nearby Jinxland, as The Scarecrow of Oz
(1916) makes clear.
I think it makes much more sense for Dr. Pipt to have moved almost as far as he could from his old home in the Gillikin Country (where he knew Mombi) to the very desolate southern corner of the Munchkin Country. And in kind, it makes more sense to me that elderly Unc Nunkie, who fled the court of Seebania with a literal babe in arms, took refuge in the dark Blue Forest in the first empty cottage he came upon.
Now, I do not particularly think L. Frank Baum or Ruth Plumly Thompson necessarily worked this all out in this kind of detail. But a literary fantasy land finds a life of its own as layer upon layer of fictional history is built up, as maps get modified, as characters grow - whether looking for adventure or searching for their pasts.
I think Jim Haff understood this. He brought his professional skills as a cartographer to this project, and as we'll see in the coming posts, he largely succeeded in compiling the various bits of research into a logical, geographic whole. Note that I'm not certain whether Haff paid any attention to Thompson's hand-drawn map of Oz. Still, his Munchkin Country generally followed most of the story points above. Here's my yellow schematic laid over his "research" map:
He has Ojo and Doctor Pipt in the far southern Munchkin Country, Ojo must journey over the mountain (visiting with Doctor Pipt at the summit) then down into the fields of the Munchkin Country. He has even got the Yellow Brick Road essentially connecting the old capital of the Munchkin Country (Seebania) with the Emerald City. This is because he followed the story logic and geographic sense. (Here the "left-hand path" through the forest is unresolved, but since Baum never specified where that path leads, Haff made no error there.)
Sadly, someone convinced Haff that that single word "Gillikin" mattered; and that wrecked the entire geographical and story-telling logic of two books. Here is the way the beginnings of Ojo's journey look on the published Oz Club map.
|Ojo's route (indicated in red) to the Yellow Brick Road on the Oz Club map.|
So, Ojo and Unc Nunkie want to get from their home to the fertile plains of the Munchkin Country. So they journey in the opposite direction
of the fertile plains and climb a steep mountain for no reason. Ojo visits Doctor Pipt whom they were not particularly going to see, climbs back down the mountain, and hikes on over to the Yellow Brick Road. This seems a bit nonsensical to me, but, joy!
- at least the other side of Doctor Pipt's mountain is in the Gillikin Country!
When Ojo and Nunkie's cottage was shifted to the north, that choice led to a major reshuffling of much else in the Munchkin Country. Back when Haff had Ojo and Nunkie's cottage in the south he had placed the majority of the locations from Ojo in Oz
(1933) in the north. Below is the relevant section of Haff's original map:
|Haff's "research" map - Routes of OJO IN OZ: Ojo's party indicated in yellow; Dorothy's party in red.|
Haff's "research" map puts these Ojo in Oz
locations to the north of the Yellow Brick Road used in The Wizard of Oz
, the orange line at the bottom of the image. The route followed by Ojo and Realbad I've indicated in yellow: Crystal Mountain, Tappy
Town, Unicorners, and finally Moojer Mountain. And the route of Dorothy and her rescue party I've indicated in red: arrival in the Blue Forest, traveling the Rolling Road to Dickseyland, and then the route Reachard leads them on toward the Emerald City, though they run smack into Moojer Mountain before they get there.
I don't really see why Haff placed these locales in the northern
Munchkin Country. But when he moved Ojo to the north in the published club map all of this Ojo in Oz
stuff moved to the south. I suspect this is Dick Martin trying to keep the density of "map detail" well spread out. Once they moved Ojo's and Pipt's cottages to the north there was a paucity of detail in the southern Munchkin Country. But from an "Oz as a real place" perspective, simply filling up empty space is a dumb reason, IMHO.
Below you can see how this affected the routes from Ojo in Oz
on the 1962 version of the Oz Club's map.
|1962 Club map - Routes of OJO IN OZ: Ojo's party indicated in yellow; Dorothy's party in red.|
All this is now far to the south of the Yellow Brick Road from The Wizard of Oz
. For some reason, too, Dorothy's group (red) is now traveling north of Ojo and Realbad's group (yellow). I can't see the reason for this change. But on the whole, I do prefer that this is all so much closer to Seebania than the original Haff layout had it. It makes for a geographical unity. Of course there would be even more
geographical unity if they had left Ojo and Nunkie in the south where they belong.
In later versions of the Oz Club maps (1967 and on) this area gets heavily reworked yet again. I'm not keen on Haff's shifting the arrival of Dorothy's party to a different forest, the one where she met the Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion back in The Wizard of Oz
. This change seems to have been made to angle the Rolling Road so that it can dump Dorothy and her rescue party into the river, as described in the text of Ojo in Oz
|2008 Club map - Routes of OJO IN OZ: Ojo's party indicated in yellow; Dorothy's party in red.|
As you might have noticed, this section of the Munchkin Country is now a lot denser, too. All of the many locations from Merry Go Round in Oz
were added to the map in 1967.
There are some other Ojo-related glitches and omissions from the Club's map, too. There is no river for the unicorns to bathe in, the fairly large village that Ojo and Realbad pass through is not on the map, and various mountains seen by the travelers are nowhere to be seen. The biggest mistake still not discussed is that the Oz Club's map places the Bandit's Cave in the northern central Munchkin Country. The bandit's cave is not actually on Haff's "research" map, so its inclusion in the published map may have been a late decision.
It it pretty clear Thompson wanted the Bandit's Cave in the same vicinity as the other locales from Patchwork Girl
. She has shown the Bandit's Cave
(though she calls it "Bandit's
Forest") on her map, directly above the "U" in QUADLING. [Update: it is also possible to view the "Bandit's Forest" on Thompson's map as being the hideout of Vaga and his men in Grampa in Oz
. See "comments" below
.] But in any case, this southern
location for the Badit's cave in Ojo in Oz
is very strongly implied in the text. Mooj throws Realbad into a deep ravine near the castle of Seebania. Realbad is rescued by the bandits and taken back
to their cave, where he is nursed
back to health.
But Haff has placed the Bandit's Cave in
the central northern
section of the Munchkin Country, quite far from Seebania. This seems
like quite a trek for the bandits to carry an injured Realbad! The clear implication in Thompson's text is
that the bandits and their cave are relatively close to Seebania. Indeed, at the end of Ojo in Oz
decides to make the Bandit's Cave a sort of Royal Hunting Lodge where he
will spend two months each year, and he allows Snufferbux the bear to
use it for hibernation each winter. Clearly Thompson thought that the Bandit's Cave was close to Seebania and under Realbad's jurisdiction, not on the other
side of the Munchkin Country.
I went back and looked at Thompson's map and after my recent rereading of Ojo in Oz
I am convinced she was using the map in her text descriptions. She has given us a lot of detail on the boundaries of Seebania:
Long ago . . . the Kings of Seebania ruled all the southern part of the Munchkin Country, and the city where you now find yourselves is Shamsbad, the capital. When Ozma succeeded to the throne . . . my father, then King of Seebania . . . relinquished [his claim] to all the small countries at the south and retired within the borders of Seebania itself. This kingdom, still an immense but little known tract of wild forest land, is bounded on the north by the Munchkin River and on the south by the Quadling Country.
Below is Thompson's hand-drawn map, with color added to reflect what she has described in the Ojo in Oz
text above. There is a river to serve as the north border, the Quadling Country is to the south, and it is an immense tract of forest land when compared to the usual size of minor countries in Oz. Given Realbad's view that the Bandit's Cave is part of his domain I extended the light blue area of Seebania to include it. This way of viewing this map even has a Yellow Brick Road connecting Seebania to the Emerald City. Thompson has, of course, traced Baum's 1914 map as her starting point and Baum clearly meant the Yellow Brick Road shown here to be that of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
. But I think the point has been made that we can get a pretty clear view of how Thompson saw her Ojo in Oz
|Thompson's Map of Oz showing Seebania as she described it in her OJO IN OZ text.|
I am by no means saying there is only one solution to making an accurate map of Oz, but the Oz Club map makers seem to have never even considered this sort of contextual information. And in the end, considering the high-profile status the Oz Club maps have achieved, I think it is sort of a shame.
But then again, if the club's maps were perfect, look at all the fun I'd have missed writing this huge time-sap of a blog post!
And after all that, how about an end note! I should mention the one other innocuous reason that I have seen given for moving Ojo to the north so I don't have to address this in the "comments."
When Ojo and Scraps meet the Scarecrow on the Yellow Brick Road the Scarecrow says he is on his way to visit Jinjur.
While this Jinjur reference is clearly more that a slip of the pen by Baum, it is also easily solved on the map. Baum's text shows Ojo and Co. are just inside the green area of the Emerald City. On Jim Haff's "research" map he has the two Yellow Brick Roads merge just after they reach these green lands. So the Scarecrow can indeed be walking away from the city to visit Jinjur without her having to live on the southern Yellow Brick Road (see Haff's map below).
Jinjur will find herself the focus of several legitimate "map" debates, but we'll save all that for a future post.