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This painting depicts the Tiwi story of the shooting star, or Yamparriparri. Yamparriparri are viewed by Tiwi people as a very bad omen, a type of demon similar to a vampire. The custom on the Tiwi Islands when a shooting star is observed is to spit several times on the ground to mitigate potential bad luck. Tapalinga is the general Tiwi term for a star, or group of stars in the night sky.