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Wearing their luck on their ink sleeves with Thai traditional tattoos

Wearing their luck on their ink sleeves with Thai traditional tattoos

Atjima Khunnok has so many tattoos that she has to count them on her fingers: deities, sacred peaks, parallel rows of ancient Khmer script unfurling across her arms and back. "Nine or 10," she says, done counting. Most are barely visible; she has them done in oil, not ink. But the 29-year-old jewelry saleswoman says she can also feel their presence. They grant her strength, luck and charisma, she says. When she's about to make a major sale, she feels them tingle. "It makes a difference," Atjima says. "When business is bad, I come to Arjan Neng." Easing financial woes is one of Neng's specialties. On a Monday morning in late May, the balding,...

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