Babalú and Caves
Of course, there is more than one story about how it is the Babá came to live in a cave. There is the story of his exile that I have already told, and many people simply fill in the detail of the cave when they are trying to imagine or explain the desolate places. Having lived large and exalted his masculinity, Babalú is then thrown back into the dark, unknowable body of the Earth. Having indulged in his own hubris, he is reduced to utter humility. The story of his rehabilitation describes Changó finding him in a trash heap or a cave, depending on who tells it.
The cave itself is an interesting thing, linking the Earth where we live to the dark inner life of the Earth, like a bibijagua colony. In fact, some lineages use the earth from the entrance of a crab´s cave in the já. These crabs live by the water, come charging up on land and then disappear into the Earth. They move effortlessly from the water, to the world, and into the Earth.
(Special thanks to Erik Daugaard for the great Cuban crab photo.)