The Land of the Mangaboos, sometimes called The Vegetable Kingdom, is an underground country in Boboland, outside of Oz. The buildings are all made of glass that grows out of the ground and there are no stairs at all. The entire country is illuminated by six glowing balls floating in the air far above. The largest, central ball is white, and the others arranged around it are rose, violet, yellow, blue, and orange. The unusual lighting creates odd patterns and colors on visitor's clothing and faces, but the locals are used to it.
In the Land of the Mangaboos, it is possible to walk through the air, although the people usually move along the ground in the ordinary way. The Wizard of Oz suggested that "this might be possible because they were close to the center of the earth where the attraction of gravity is weaker."
Mangaboos rely heavily on naturally occurring phenomenon for survival. Everything from their bodies, clothing, houses, tools, and food are grown from the fertile land. Great care is taken in the maintenance of the land. Crimes committed against the land come with a much heftier punishment than those committed against an individual.
Crime and punishment are simple affairs in the Vegetable Kingdom. Those who commit acts against the land are thrown into the Garden of the Clinging Vines where they are crushed and devoured by carnivorous plants, who produce a natural fertilizer used in crop growth. Those who commit crimes against an individual, short of murder, must work off their debt in servitude to the wronged party at a rate of 1 bit per day. Anyone who kills in the Vegetable Kingdom or refuses to work off their crimes are banished from the land and must leave through the perilous Black Pit. It is said that the Black Pit is a practical death sentence as very few actually make it to the surface world after entering.
The mangaboos appear as humans with plant-like features based on their type. Each Mangaboo is born as a specific type of fruit, vegetable, or fungus and their appearance greatly reflects that. Their clothing is often very attractive and grows on their bodies. Mangaboos are naturally expressionless and show little emotion; this leads some to believe they are cold or heartless. Mangaboo who have spent time outside of the Vegetable Kingdom sometimes practice mimicking the expressions of their non-Mangaboo companions to improve communication with those who rely upon facial expression and tone for communication.
Mangaboos do not reproduce like the mammals from the surface of Oz, instead they are grown on a vine in the Folk Gardens until they reach adulthood. Knowledge from their ancestors are magically transferred to them while they grow. They are attached to their plant by a stem at the soles of their feet. After they are picked, they often live for about five to ten years if they keep themselves cool and moist and meet with no accidents, though some have lived longer with the help of magic and/or technology. A Mangaboo who has ripened and is picked wis already a fully grown and functional adult.
The Mangaboo ruler grows on a Royal Bush separated from the rest by a circle of hedge. He or she is indicated by a glistening Star of Royalty on his or her forehead. The Mangaboos also have a sorcerer who performs magic for the good of the Mangaboo people.
Until recently, few Mangaboo had reason to leave their underground glass kingdom. When the Great Spell fell, the Land of the Mangaboos was affected less than most places; their lifespans were already short. Over months, however, as the magic from the land began to wane, buildings began growing in strange formations, seedlings were taking longer to ripen, and the ability to walk through air became more difficult.
When The First Winter came to Oz, the Scarecrow reached out to Princess Abumber Cucumber, the current ruler of The Land of the Mangaboos, and pleaded with her for assistance growing food. The princess and her sorcerer, Bippidi-Boppidy Blueberry, agreed to help (the exact details of the agreement are unknown to the public) and sent several 'Salad Squads' to Oz made up of militia, diplomats, farmers, and scholars.
(written from the point of view of Jamerry Strawberry of the Mangaboo)
- Humans - Though humans vary depending on region, Mangaboo tend to get along with more serious humans just fine. Some Mangaboo have taken jobs helping farmers in Winkieland or Munchkinland.
- Immortals - Mangaboo have very little in common with Immortals, who up until recently have enjoyed a long lifespan. Their casual and sometimes silly attitudes are often frustrating for Mangaboo, and they are best avoided.
- Changelings - Mangaboo are wary of herbivores, for obvious reasons' Changeling personalities tend to vary from creature to creature, so caution is to be used initially. Those who are more singly minded can be friends.
- Nomes - Though they are both subterranean dwellers, the Mangaboo and Nomes have a difficult history. The Nomes and Mangaboo have had contact for many years, and have attempted several treaties and amiable diplomatic arrangements, but every time there ends up being deceit on one side or the other ranging from light trickery to war-worthy offenses. Tensions still remain high.
- Constructs - Made with a purpose and with simple personalities? What's not to like? They can be useful tools and even friends.