When I wrote about the protagonists of Rinkitink in Oz, I mentioned that one of them turned out to be Prince Bobo of Boboland under the enchantment of an evil sorcerer.
So what is Boboland? Well, really all L. Frank Baum told us about it in the text of any of his books is that it’s “far to the south of [the Nome Kingdom] but bordering on the Deadly Desert opposite to the Land of Oz.” It’s shown on the map from the Tik-Tok endpapers, however, and appears to be above the underground lands visited in Dorothy and the Wizard. It’s never mentioned in any of Ruth Plumly Thompson’s books either, but John R. Neill used it in Scalawagons as the former home of the Puckerts, also known as Nota-Bells. They’re a group of eighty-eight little men with long beards and bells on their heads. The Nota-Bells are able to float in the air, using their beards to stay aloft, and claim to ring in the ears of composers to inspire them.
When they come to the Emerald City, Ozma consults the Book of Magic Tribes, and finds the bell-men listed among several other “lost or strayed bands from Boboland,” also including Crinks, Chuckerts, Elfeons, Jollericks, Spunkers, Gadixies, and Giffers. There’s no indication as to what these other tribes might be, but Ruth Berman did a bit of speculating on the subject a few years ago. As for the Puckerts themselves, they are said to come from the Sugar Pyramids, but had disappeared 700 years previously to when the Book of Magic Tribes was written. Neill apparently got the idea of sugar pyramids from the way sugar was once commonly packaged in Europe.
The Puckerts remember the pyramids and miss the sweets they used to eat there, but say they don’t want to go back because the place was “swarming with ants and relatives.” So they remain in the Emerald City, where they serve as bell-ringers in one of the palace towers.
I think Boboland could use some more exploration. Did Prince Bobo ever return there, and are any other members of his family still there? What happened to the sorcerer who enchanted the prince? Are there any unusual beings remaining there? I did a little bit with the country in my story “Return to Boboland”, but I’m not really satisfied with it now. I do think some of my ideas, like Groanos and the Light-Heads, could be salvaged, though.