Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the coast of Maine in 1524, and wrote of his travels to his sponsor, the King of France. While he encountered very friendly natives near Rhode Island, Maine's natives were less welcoming. They greeted Verrazzano's men from the height of a cliff, and refused to approach the shore. They would only trade by lowering items on a rope. When they were finished trading, Verrazzano writes that they "showed their buttocks and laughed immoderately--" in other words, they mooned the Europeans. For this, Maine earned the title terra onde la mala gente, or "the land of the bad people."

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