Author's note: To go to the overview post on the ancient Maya gods and goddesses, go here.
God M of the Schellhas classification system was a god of merchants known to us as Ek Chuah (also Ek Chauah, and Ek Chuwah or Ek' Chuwah), a name that might really be his though it is not known for sure. He is somewhat close in appearance and function to God L, a god that Ek Chuah may have supplanted.
Ek Chuah had a black body (some sources say face), a long and narrow nose and a big lower lip. Some images of Ek Chuah show him holding a spear.
Like God L, Ek Chuah was a god of merchants. The spear he is sometimes drawn with possibly connects him with fighting in connection to attacks on merchants. Some sources such as Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage and Explorer's Guide Mexico's Aztec & Maya Empires say that Ek Chuah was also the god of cacao.
Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage also quoted a translated section of Bishop Diego de Landa's Relación de las cosas de Yucatan:
"Wherever they came they erected three little stones, and placed on each several grains of the incense; and in front they placed three other flat stones, on which they threw incense, as they offered prayers to God whom they called Ek Chuwah [Ek' Chuwah] that he would bring them back home again in safety." **
During the Postclassic period, it is thought that Ek Chuah
became more popular than God L. There are fewer images of God L in the
Postclassic period than in the Classic, where most of his images are
** The book's reference for this quote is as thus: "Tozzer, A.M. Landa's relación de las cosas de Yucatan. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Volume 18. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University , 1941 (original. 1566, Landa, D. de); P. 107."
"Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World "; Lynn V. Foster; 2005
"The Ancient Maya: New Perspectives"; Heather Irene McKillop; 2004
Missouri State University: MAYA GODS AND GODDESSES
"Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage"; Louis E. Grivetti, Howard-Yana Shapiro; 2011
"Maya Conquistador"; Matthew Restall; 1999
"Explorer's Guide Mexico's Aztec & Maya Empires"; Zain Deane; 2011