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(wŏlo͞onz`), group of people living in S Belgium who traditionally spoke a dialect of French called Walloon, but who today for the most part speak standard French. The Walloons, numbering some 3.5 million, reside mostly in the provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Namur, Luxembourg, and Walloon Brabant, in contrast to the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the northern provinces. The movement for reviving Walloon literature centered in Liège in the 19th cent.; today the language is considered moribund. The periodical Wallonie had considerable influence. Since medieval times the economic and social background of the Walloons has differed radically from that of the Flemings, and the cleavage became even more pronounced with the Industrial Revolution. The Walloon part of Belgium contains major mining areas and heavy industries, while the Flemings engage mainly in agriculture, manufacturing (particularly textiles), and shipping. Tension between Walloons and Flemings has long been a critical political issue. In 1970 a plan was approved that recognized the cultural autonomy of Belgium's three national communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north, the French-speaking Walloons of the south, and bilingual Brussels. The name Walloons was also applied to Huguenot refugees in America by the Dutch, who made no distinction between French and Walloon Protestants.


See H. H. Turney-High, Château-Gerard; the Life and Times of a Walloon Village (1953).



a people that make up about half of the population of Belgium. The Walloons number more than 4 million people (according to the 1970 census). They live in the provinces of Hainaut, Namur, and Liège, as well as in Luxembourg and in the departments of Nord and Ardennes in northeastern France. They speak the Walloon dialect of the French language. Religious Walloons are Catholic. Walloons are descendants of Belgic Celtic tribes, and since the first century A.D. they have undergone strong romanization and felt some influence from Germanic tribes, particularly the Franks. In terms of their language and ethnographic characteristics (for example, dress and living quarters), they are noticeably distinct from the Flemings who live in the same country. The majority of Walloons are employed in industry (mainly as workers), and in southern Belgium (Ardennes) they also raise livestock.


Narody zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 2. Moscow, 1965.
References in periodicals archive ?
If Flemish citizens don't want their taxes to go to the Walloons, what about helping out unemployed immigrants from Africa, a large chunk of which the Belgians once owned and exploited as a major source of their prosperity?
Perhaps the citizens of Belgium do not have enough in common anymore, and Flemish and Walloons would be better off being divorced.
The Walloons in Bellegarde fared better than the Catholics in Lethbridge because they formed a religiously and ethnically homogeneous community.
Walloons and Flemings supported Catholic schools when these were available under a dual confessional or separate school system.
The first generations of Flemish and Walloons were anxious to maintain their mother tongue as part of their culture and as a means of communicating with relatives, especially grandparents, and friends.
Both Flemings and Walloons remained firmly attached to their Catholic heritage.
The Reformed Walloons had taken an active part in the events of the "Wonderyear" (1566), which after a brief ascendancy of the Calvinists ended in the repression of the duke of Alva and the "Council of Troubles.
Though not all of the immigrants were French speaking, the Walloons formed a considerable percentage.
7) They organized themselves very quickly, and quite soon the number of congregations gathered in the Walloon Synod reached forty-three parishes, (8) However, the fast assimilation of the Walloons brought about the extinction of some parishes, and on the eve of the Revocation of the Edict de Nantes the number of congregations had shrunk to twenty-six (1685).
40) Assembled at Leeuwarden for their spring Synod, the Walloons received a letter from the Reformed in Mitawa in Courland.
42) As no copy of this letter survived, it is hard to state for certain if the letter was addressed to the Walloons directly (which would seem so) or, more importantly, who wrote it.
The state of the Polish Reformed Churches must have been painted in black colors indeed, as the Walloons described it as "etat triste et la destitution abslue.