Friday, September 28, 2007
Born 1876; Died 1917
Age 35; A beautiful, dark haired woman, about 58″ and 130 lbs, wearing either bangles (when performing) or a fashionable dress.
Advantages: Beautiful; Comfortable wealth; Reputation (“Mysterious Indian Princess”, in Parisian society)
Disadvantages: Secret (Dutch, not really “exotic”), Secret (Spy for Germany), Social Stigma (Deminondaine)
Quirks: Loves the excitement of being a spy; Prefers soldiers as lovers; “Unabashed” and more liberated than women of her time
Mata Hari always performs in scanty outfits covered with bangles, and little else. Otherwise, she wears fashionable dresses (with fashion changing about as often as it does in the 1990s). She owns several pieces of jewlery, some with hidden compartments for carrying small documents.
This represents Mata Hari at the high point of her world tour. She is moderatly shrewd and manipulative rather than smart, but she has survived well enough on her wits and looks for several years. While some accounts have suggested she was framed and was never even a spy, it seems more likely that she possessed and used some very basic espionage skills. (In that case, she used codes, but would not have had formal training in cryptography). She was not an interrogator in the usual sense; the skill used here to reflect her ability to get someone to talk through “pillow talk”, involving some judgement as to what another person knows and might be willing to say.
In 1905, a sensation swept across Paris. Mata Hari, (“Eye of the Dawn” in Malay), the daughter of a Brahmin and initiate into the rites and rituals of Kandaswami dance, had taken to the stage. Paris loved her. She packed the halls from America to Russia, telling her tails and performing ritual dances.
The pattern of an encounter with Mata Hari will depend heavly on what the indivduals are after or how they appear. She will probably latch on to any soldier or soldierly-looking man, especially if they are of high rank. She is foremost an adventuress, a thrill-seeker, buring her candle at both ends while acting as a double agent.
Erika Ostrovsky: Eye of Dawn: The Rise and Fall of Mata Hari
Mata Hari, the Seductive Spy (video), A&E Biography series.