Mashpee is a town in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States, on Cape Cod. The population was 14,006 as of 2010. The town is the site of the headquarters and most members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, one of two federally recognized Wampanoag groups.
For geographic and demographic information on specific parts of the town of Mashpee, please see the articles on Mashpee Neck, Monomoscoy Island, New Seabury, Popponesset, Popponesset Island, Seabrook, and Seconsett Island.
Cape Cod was occupied for more than ten thousand years by indigenous peoples. The historic Algonquian-speaking Wampanoag were the native people encountered by the English colonists here and in the area of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the seventeenth century. The Wampanoag also controlled considerable coastal area. These two cultures would interact, shaping each other for decades.
After English colonists arrived, they began to settle the area of present-day Mashpee in 1658 with the assistance of the missionary Richard Bourne, from the neighboring town of Sandwich. In 1660 the colonists allowed those Christian Wampanoag who had been converted about 50 square miles (130 km2) in the English settlement.