Cupule Boulder at the Presidio of Monterey
A distinctive and solitary cupule boulder looks east over the Monterey Bay to the rolling hills beyond. Located on the grounds of the Presidio of Monterey, uphill and to the northeast of the Museum parking and southeast of the Sloat Monument, it is accessible to the public.
Variously referred to as Rain Rock, Indian Ceremonial Rock, Rumsen Sacred Rock, and Ceremonial Boulder, Pritchard (1968, noted, “43 cupules of small circular depressions pecked into the rock.” The cupule rock, considered part of CA-MNT-15, a prehistoric site with surface flaked stone or groundstone artifacts.
Laverty (2010) provides an authoritative summary: “The so-called Rain Rock… is a granite boulder ... that may have been associated with shamanic weather control rituals or women’s fertility rituals. Other possible uses include ‘astronomy, fishing magic, mourning, and…tests of character’ or to mark a place along a trail. However, the location of the rock at a prominent overlook with views to the west, north, and east would seem to indicate an association with the weather control rituals known to have been practiced in the area.”